Page last updated at 09:06 GMT, Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Writer Klein wins 50,000 award

Naomi Klein
Klein said she was "thrilled" to win the inaugural prize

Author and journalist Naomi Klein has won the first 50,000 Warwick Prize for her book The Shock Doctrine.

The Canadian beat five other writers to take the award for her investigation into neoliberal economics which she calls "disaster capitalism".

The book argues that companies and governments use natural and man-made disasters, such as the Asian tsunami, to push through their policies.

Judges described Klein's book as "outstanding" and "provocative".

Author China Mieville, who chaired the judging panel, said: "'Every book on the shortlist was exceptional, but of course it had, ultimately, to come down to one.

"Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine... has started many debates, and will start many more, and we're delighted to award it the first Warwick Prize for Writing."

Naomi Klein - The Shock Doctrine
Lisa Appignanesi - Mad, Bad, and Sad: A History of Women and the Mind Doctors from 1800
Francisco Goldman - The Art of Political Murder: Who Killed Bishop Gerardi?
Enrique Vila-Matas - Montano's Malady
Stuart Kauffman - Reinventing the Sacred: A New View of Science, Reason, and Religion
Alex Ross - The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century

The new prize, funded by the University of Warwick, aims to recognise writing that makes an intellectual, scientific or imaginative advance and expresses ideas with energy and clarity.

The prize, open to fiction and non-fiction works, is to be given every two years, and a theme will be chosen for each award - this year it was "complexity".

In addition to the cash prize, the winner of the award is also given the chance to take up a short placement at the University of Warwick.

"At a time when the news out of the publishing industry is usually so bleak, it's thrilling to be part of a bold new prize supporting writing, especially alongside such an exciting array of other books," Klein said in a statement.

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