… Ali Smith for How To Be Both.
I haven’t read all the finalists of the Prize (though expect to see reviews in the coming weeks), but having finished all but two I can say I’m overjoyed with this result. How To Be Both is inventive and playful both with its characters and the way it’s been structured (two linked novellas that can be read in any order). It’s about art and art appreciation, but also incorporates themes about gender and dealing with grief. And it’s a fantasy novel (sort of) that wouldn’t look out of place on a Shirley Jackson or World Fantasy ballot.
So congratulations to Ali Smith. A very well deserved win.