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Women’s Prize Literary Awards Bestowed to Naomi Klein and V.V. Ganeshananthan

Author-activist Naomi Klein has won the inaugural Women’s Prize for Nonfiction with “Doppelganger,” a personal account of her journey through the world of online misinformation. The Women’s Prize for Fiction was awarded to US writer V. V. Ganeshananthan for her novel “Brotherless Night,” which explores a family torn apart by Sri Lanka’s long civil war. Both prizes include £30,000 (€35,000) in prize money.

Both winners referenced the current conflict-clouded international situation, highlighting the arts world’s ongoing debates over the Israel-Hamas war and corporate sponsorship. Klein, known for “No Logo” and “The Shock Doctrine,” reflects on her experience being mistaken for Naomi Wolf, an author turned conspiracy theorist. Her book “Doppelganger” — subtitled “A Trip into the Mirror World” — examines how online life has distorted reality and explores potential solutions.

Historian Suzannah Lipscomb, who chaired the nonfiction award judging panel, praised Klein’s book as “a courageous, humane and optimistic call-to-arms that moves us beyond black and white, beyond Right and Left.” Klein expressed gratitude to the prize for “not shying away from controversy” and reiterated her support for calls to cease book festival funding from companies involved in fossil fuels or Israel’s defense sector. This campaign has led to some UK events rejecting funding from finance firm Baillie Gifford and several artists withdrawing from music festivals.

While some argue that such actions deprive the arts of essential funds, Klein emphasized her desire to “use the platform to call for more courage from cultural institutions.”

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