Wales Book of the Year: Dr Jasmine Donahaye wins Creative Non-Fiction Award

On Thursday 21 July Literature Wales announced that Dr Jasmine Donahaye is the winner of The Open University in Wales Creative Non-Fiction Award for Losing Israel (Seren).

Dr Jasmine Donahaye Dr Donahaye is Associate Professor of Creative Writing in the Department of English Language and Literature at Swansea University.‌

Losing Israel is a moving and honest account which spans travel writing, nature writing and memoir. Through the author’s personal situation, Losing Israel explores the powerful attachments people have to place and to contested national stories. Shifting between Wales and Israel, Dr Donahaye attempts to reconcile her conflicted feelings rooted in difficult family history and a love of Israel's birds, and asks challenging questions about homeland and belonging, and the power of stories to shape a landscape. A life-long birdwatcher, Dr Donahaye uses birds in Israel, Palestine and her home in Wales to provide an unexpected and intriguing linking trope across the varied themes of the book.

Losing Israel - Dr Jasmine Donahaye The winners of the Wales Book of the Year Awards were announced at an award ceremony held in The Redhouse, Merthyr Tydfil in the company of the competition’s judges, shortlisted writers and their guests, publishers, partners and members of the public.

‌‌‌‌On the English-language judging panel this year are Professor Tony Brown of Bangor University; Associate Editor of The Bookseller, Caroline Sanderson, and Director of National Trust Wales, Justin Albert.

Lleucu Siencyn, Chief Executive of Literature Wales said: “Congratulations to all of this year’s winners. We had a wonderful evening here in Merthyr, and we were delighted to welcome the shortlisted writers and their families to The Redhouse for this celebration of Welsh literature. If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to pick up and read these books; a literary feast awaits you.”

Earlier this month, Losing Israel won the Best Travel Book Poll in the New Welsh Writing Awards.

Image of Dr Jasmine Donahaye: © Sioned a Nia