Naomi Klein wins 1st Women’s Prize for Non-Fiction

Naomi Klein has clinched the inaugural Women’s Prize for Non-Fiction with her book Doppelganger: A Trip Into the Mirror World, per The work, which explores the digital world’s impact on culture, politics and identity, begins with the Canadian writer and activist’s personal anecdotes of being mistaken for the controversial US author Naomi Wolf. 

Doppelganger delves into various contemporary issues, including conspiracy theories. It contrasts sharply with Wolf’s reputation, which has been marred by recent controversies, such as the cancellation of one of her books in 2019 and her suspension from Twitter in 2021 for spreading anti-vaccine misinformation.

The award was presented at a ceremony in central London on Thursday evening. Suzannah Lipscomb, chair of the non-fiction judges, praised Klein’s book as a “courageous, humane and optimistic call-to-arms,” lauding its depth, humour, and expansive analysis.

American author VV Ganeshananthan won the Women’s Prize for Fiction for her novel Brotherless Night, a poignant depiction of a family fractured by the Sri Lankan civil war. The novel, which took Ganeshananthan two decades to write, follows 16-year-old Sashi, an aspiring doctor in 1980s Jaffna.

Ganeshananthan triumphed over prominent authors like Anne Enright and Kate Grenville. Monica Ali, chair of the fiction judges, described “Brotherless Night” as a “brilliant, compelling and deeply moving novel” that captures the intimate and epic-scale tragedies of the Sri Lankan civil war through rich, evocative prose.

Both winners received £30,000 ($38,000) each in prize money. The Women’s Prize for Non-Fiction was introduced to address the pay gap and lack of visibility for female non-fiction writers, as revealed by research published last year. 

The Women’s Prize for Fiction, now in its 29th year, has previously honoured authors such as Barbara Kingsolver, Susanna Clarke and Maggie O’Farrell.

Shortlisted books for the Women’s Non-Fiction Prize included works by Laura Cumming, Noreen Masud, Tiya Miles, Madhumita Murgia and Safiya Sinclair. The fiction shortlist featured titles by Isabella Hammad, Claire Kilroy and Aube Rey Lescure.


  • Featured  Image: Naomi Klein in London on 13 June 2024/Getty Images


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