A 48-year-old former sculptor has won the 2015 Desmond Elliott Prize for debut novels.
Claire Fuller’s Our Endless Numbered Days, set in the British survivalist movement of the 1970s, is the story of Peggy, an eight-year-old girl kept captive in the wilderness for nine years by her father, who tells her they are the only survivors of an apocalypse which has wiped out the rest of the world.
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It was chosen as the winner of the £10,000 prize from a shortlist comprising Emma Healey’s Elizabeth is Missing and A Song for Issy Bradley by Carys Bray. Chair of the Judges Louise Doughty said, “Our Endless Numbered Days is both shocking and subtle, brilliant and beautiful, a poised and elegant work that recalls the early work of Ian McEwan in the delicacy of its prose and the way that this is combined with some very dark undertones."
In her speech, Doughty called on British publishers to support writers across their whole careers, rather than despairing if they don't win prizes straight away.
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