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November 2 – November 9, 2006 Edition
Young Welsh Writer
Named Winner of EDS
Dylan Thomas Prize 2006
Wales International Center/10/27/06—Welsh author Rachel Trezise has been tonight named the winner of the first £60,000 EDS Dylan Thomas Prize for her collection of short stories Fresh Apples, published by Parthian. The new international prize of over $100,000 will be awarded biennially to writers in English under 30 years of age and is one of the world’s largest literary prizes.
Rachel was born in the Rhondda Valley, Wales, in 1978. After graduating from Glamorgan University in 2000, her debut novel In and Out of the Goldfish Bowl was published that same year. Fresh Apples deals with the troubled times for the once vibrant coal valleys of South Wales and for the area’s youngsters.
BAFTA award winner and Chair of the judges, Andrew Davies, made the announcement at a glittering awards dinner at the Brangwyn Hall in Dylan Thomas’ hometown of Swansea. Dylan Thomas’ daughter and Patron of the Prize Aeronwy Thomas, presented Rachel with the check for £60,000.
Andrew Davies compared Fresh Apples to James Joyce’s Dubliners saying: “We are delighted to announce that the winner of the EDS Dylan Thomas Prize for 2006 is Rachel Trezise’s Fresh Apples. For all the judges, Rachel seemed to be the most original voice. The confidence, coolness and maturity of tone in Fresh Apples is exceptional. In fact, I would go as far as to say that her collection of short stories in Fresh Apples can be easily compared to James Joyce’s Dubliners. Rachel is an extremely talented author and we wish her all the best in what we are sure will be a long and successful literary career.”
Rachel Trezise said: “I am extremely proud to be the inaugural winner of this prestigious prize which I know will inspire generations to come of younger writers. This prize is vital in giving new opportunity and encouragement to fresh new talent.”
Rachel Trezise fought off stiff competition from authors spanning four continents – including the Americas – to win the EDS Dylan Thomas Prize. She was amongst six finalists who come from a wide range of educational and cultural backgrounds – two Oxbridge graduates, Nick Laird and James Scudamore; American writer Liza Ward; first-time novelist and Zimbabwe-based schoolteacher Ian Holding; and Belfast-born playwright, Lucy Caldwell. The six books cover a huge range of topics and themes from racism, politics and religion, to traveling and family, and constitute an effective introduction to the psychology and perspective of a generation.
Joining Andrew Davies on the international judging panel for the 2006 EDS Dylan Thomas Prize was the Prize founder, Professor Peter Stead; the screenwriter and renowned Welsh poet, Menna Elfyn; the (British) Independent newspaper editor, Simon Kelner; the acclaimed Welsh American novelist, Paul Watkins; and the American poet and academic, Kurt Heinzelman.
Professor Peter Stead, the Prize’s founding Chairman, said: “Rachel is a worthy winner of the 2006 EDS Dylan Thomas Prize. She has displayed maturity beyond her years in her work, producing something that touched everyone on the judging panel. Judging the prize puts you through almost as many emotions as there are in the novels, such has been the high quality of the short list. Each of the six authors can, I’m sure, look forward to a long and successful literary career, in particular Rachel who can take great pride from this award.”
The Dylan Thomas Prize is sponsored by the global technology services company EDS headquartered in Plano, Texas. Roger Alderson of EDS said: “EDS is delighted to be the headline sponsor of this unique literary prize. Given our presence in Wales and particularly in Swansea, it always seemed like a natural fit.”
Fresh Apples can be bought in the USA online from Barnes and Noble or Amazon.com.
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