Lyndall Gordon has been longlisted for the Warwick Prize for Writing 2015. Gordon’s memoir, DIVIDED LIVES: DREAMS OF A MOTHER AND DAUGHTER, is among five other non-fiction books longlisted. A shortlist will be announced in October, with the winner will be announced in November.
The Warwick Prize for Writing is awarded biannually, and for the first time this year, has been open for direct submissions from publishers. The longlist consists of seven fiction and five non-fiction books along with a collection of poetry. The winner will receive £25,000 and the chance to take up a short placement at the University of Warwick. Chaired by Warwick alumna and author A.L. Kennedy, the judging panel consists of author and academic Robert Macfarlane, actress and director Fiona Shaw, Warwick alumnus and Lonely Planet founder, Tony Wheeler and physician and writer Gavin Francis.
Lyndall's biography of Mary Wollstonecraft, VINDICATION, was also ranked #15 on the New York Times Culture Bestseller list this month.
Gordon was born in 1941 in Cape Town, to a mother whose mysterious illness confined her for years to life indoors. Lyndall was her carer, her ‘secret sharer,’ a child who grew to know life through books, story-telling and her mother's own writings. Written with this renowned biographer’s subtlety and acuity, DIVIDED LIVES is a wonderfully layered memoir about the expectations of love and duty between mother and daughter. Moving and beautiful, DIVIDED LIVES is a poetic memoir about the pain and joy of being a daughter, that is also an intriguing social history and feminist text, rich in literary reference.
Initially published in hardback by Virago in June 2014, the book has received many excellent reviews. Anne Sebbe of The Jewish Chronicle called it a ‘profoundly moving memoir’ and ‘a tender tribute to a mother who taught her to love and cherish books.’
Praise for Lyndall Gordon:
‘Lyndall Gordon is a rare phenomenon: a biographer whose preoccupations and authorial career reveal a flowering towards imaginative truth.’ – Candia McWilliam, Herald
‘We are in the presence of a committed biographer in whom the amalgamation of passion and sympathy finds memorable expression.’ – Adrian Wright, London Magazine
‘Lyndall Gordon must be one of the most accomplished literary biographers of this generation…outstanding and stimulating.’ – British Book News