Writer and filmmaker Guy Gunaratne won the Prize in 2019 with his debut novel In Our Mad and Furious City. Set in a London housing estate during city-wide riots, Gunaratne’s compelling multi-voice narrative was praised by judges for allowing the reader to enter ‘lives and circumstances seldom given that centre-stage position in our contemporary culture and society.’
Gunaratne’s novel has been widely acclaimed, winning the Jhalak Prize, and the Authors Club Best First Novel Award, as well as making the longlist and shortlist for other awards, including the Man Booker Prize, and the Goldsmiths Prize.
In 2019, Gunaratne was appointed as a Fellow Commoner in the Creative Arts at Trinity College, Cambridge.
Synopsis - 'In Our Mad and Furious City'
For Selvon, Ardan, and Yusuf, growing up under the towers of Stones Estate, summer means what it does anywhere: football, music, and freedom, but now, after the killing of a British soldier, riots are spreading across the city, and nowhere is safe.
While the fury swirls around them, Selvon and Ardan remain focused on their own obsessions, girls, and grime. Their friend Yusuf is caught up in a different tide, a wave of radicalism surging through his local mosque, threatening to carry his troubled brother, Irfan, with it.
Provocative, raw, poetic yet tender, In Our Mad and Furious City marks the arrival of a major new talent in fiction.
Guy Gunaratne - 2019 Winner
In this episode, Cultural Institute intern Eddie Matthews talks to award-winning writer Guy Gunaratne.