Chosen from 240 submissions, Watson said of his win, ‘I know it’s a cliché but winning the Penguin Literary Prize is a dream come true – I still can’t quite believe it’s happened. To have been awarded this prize for a novel that contains so much of my heart and soul is an astounding privilege, and I’m so grateful to PRH for this incredible recognition.’
James McKenzie Watson - 2021 Winner & Sophie Overett - 2020 Winner
The winning novel hits shelves around a year later with the 2020 winner – The Rabbits by Sophie Overett – due to be published early next month. To get an idea of the local writing talent that Penguin is nurturing with this prize, read an extract of The Rabbits below.
The Rabbits is a multigenerational family story with a dose of magical realism. It is about family secrets, art, very mild superpowers, loneliness and the strange connections we make in the places we least expect.
Other previous winners include Hitch by Kathryn Hind, which was also awarded the Betty Trask Award in 2020; and The Spill by Imbi Neeme.
The Rabbits is available in store and online from 2 July.