LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Canadian journalist Naomi Klein has won Britain’s inaugural Warwick Prize for Writing for “The Shock Doctrine,” her acclaimed investigation into neoliberal economics which she calls “disaster capitalism.”
The 2007 book argues that governments and companies use natural disasters like the Asian tsunami or man-made shocks like the Iraq war or the attacks of September 11, 2001, to push through corporate-friendly policies.
“The Shock Doctrine is a brilliant, provocative, outstandingly written investigation into some of the great outrages of our time,” said fantasy fiction author China Mieville who chaired the judging panel.
Klein receives 50,000 pounds ($73,000) for winning the biennial award, which is funded by the University of Warwick and honors any “substantial” piece of writing in the English language, including works in translation.
“At a time when the news out of the publishing industry is usually so bleak, it’s thrilling to be part of a bold new prize supporting writing, especially alongside such an exciting array of other books,” Klein said in a statement.
Klein was up against “Montano’s Malady” by Spanish writer Enrique Vila-Matas, Polish-born Lisa Appignanesi for “Mad, Bad, and Sad: A History of Women and the Mind Doctors from 1800” and U.S. novelist Francisco Goldman for “The Art of Political Murder: Who Killed Bishop Gerardi?.”
Rounding off the shortlist of six were U.S. theoretical biologist Stuart Kauffman (“Reinventing the Sacred: A New View of Science, Reason, and Religion”) and U.S. music critic Alex Ross (“The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century”).
Reporting by Mike Collett-White, editing by Paul Casciato