Goldsmiths, University of London

Nicola Barker more than 'H(a)ppy' to win £10,000 prize

An Ely writer has scooped a prestigious literary prize, becoming the first English author to win it.

Nicola Barker's novel H(a)ppy is the winner of this year's Goldsmiths Prize, which includes £10,000.

Book cover
PA

The judging panel described H(a)ppy as "a 3D-sculpture of a novel... an object of art".

The book is presented like an illuminated manuscript, breaking up lines with coloured words, injecting spaces and diagrams, and carving symbols into the type.

Nicola Barker
PA

"I suppose it's a book about faith, it's a book about suffering, confusion, it's a modern book but... quite crazy - I can't make any excuses for it. It's written in colour," Barker said at the ceremony at Foyles bookshop in London yesterday.

She beat competition from Will Self's Phone, Gwendoline Riley's First Love, Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor, Kevin Davey's Playing Possum and Sara Baume's A Line Made By Walking.

Tony Pitts and Jim Moir

Actor and director Tony Pitts meets comedian and painter Jim Moir, aka Vic Reeves.
Actor and director Tony Pitts meets comedian and painter Jim Moir, also known as Vic Reeves.