The UK’s Goldsmiths Prize 2014, managed by Goldsmiths College of the University of London, and “established to celebrate the qualities of creative daring associated with the University and to reward fiction that breaks the mould or opens up new possibilities for the novel form,” has gone to Scottish author Ali Smith for her time-spanning, genre-defying novel How to be both, which Kirsty Gunn describes on the Prize shortlist website as “a stunning example of literary inventiveness, idiosyncratic presentation of character and her charming, disarming way with plot.”
This year, the Prize has also been coordinated with the Goldsmiths Writers’ Centre, established in 2013, with a series of readings from the shortlisted writers, and others, including Kirsty Gunn, one of the Prize’s judges. Now in its second year, with prize money of £10,000, the Prize is managed in association with the New Statesman.
Smith said in her reply to news of her win that: “This prize is really about the thing closest to your heart if you work with the novel as a form, if you’re interested in the form of the novel and the form of language. The point of this is that it’s about language, about all the things a novel can do, not just some of the things a novel can do. That’s what this prize is about. It’s about the multi-variousness, the everything the novel can do is included in this prize.”