Sophie Neville’s lastest work in progress reached the finals for this year’s Eyelands Book Awards under the category ‘Unpublished Historical Novel’
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‘The Girl Who Got out of Zanzibar’ originally won a place on Eyelands’ Three Rock Writer’s Residency in Crete in September 2019, where Sophie worked on the first 20,000 words. It went on to win third prize in the Association of Christian Writers’ novel competition 2020, when the judge, Tony Collins, described it as: ‘a treat: full of atmosphere, detail, vivid characters, and a love for the island and its culture. I liked the fact that the narrator is a young black girl, which I find refreshing, and the relish with which the food was described is delightful. The underlying theme of FGM (and its place in a patriarchal society, the practice perpetuated by grandmothers) is a dark thread, well sustained, which both horrifies and compels.’
The sequel ‘The Man Who Got Out of Japan’ won the Eyelands Book Award for an unpublished historical novel in 2019. An awards ceremony in Athens is planned for April 2021.