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Weekly Roundup: Patrick McGuinness wins Wales Book of the Year

Weekly Roundup: Patrick McGuinness wins Wales Book of the Year

Patrick McGuinness's debut novel, The Last Hundred Days has won the Wales Book of the Year in English language.

McGuinness's 2011 Man Booker Prize longlisted novel won the fiction category, worth £2,000) for his novel set in 1989 Bucharest. He was also named the overall winner in the English language category, worth an extra £6,000.

The announcement was made at a ceremony on Thursday 12 July, hosted by Literature Wales at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff. The winners were presented with their cheques by Leighton Andrews, Minister for Skills and Education and Chair of the Arts Council of Wales, Professor Dai Smith.

The English-language judges for 2012 were Dr Spencer Jordan (Chair), Dr Sam Adams and Trezza Azzopardi. Spencer Jordan, said of The Last Hundred Days: "In a world turned upside by the Arab Spring and economic cataclysm, can there be a more apposite or important book than The Last Hundred Days? I doubt it. Set against the backdrop of Ceaucescu's crumbling regime, the book explores the very human cost when society itself begins to self destruct."

Over on the Foyles website, John Banville, winner of the 2005 Man Booker Prize for his novel The Sea, shares 20 of his favourite novels.

Magnus Mills, who was shortlisted for Booker Prize in 1998 for his novel The Restraint of Beasts, has been interviewed by the Financial Times. Mills talks about which books changed his life, his seven years spent building fences and his similarity to Icarus.

Finally, the University of St Andrews and the Booker Prize Foundation have announced that Sebastian Barry will be holding a talk on campus in October. As part of the Foundation's universities initiative, all first-year students will receive a copy of A Long Long Way in advance of the start of term. Students then have to opportunity to speak to Barry about his novel and his life as a writer.

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Patrick McGuinness