We are excited to announce that Pete Paphides has won the 2021 RSL Christopher Bland Prize with Broken Greek (Quercus). The annual Prize of £10,000 is awarded to a debut novelist or non-fiction writer first published aged 50 or over.
‘Broken Greek is an original, wry and radical memoir, tracing Pete Paphides’s life against the music that formed its backing track, from ABBA to Dexys Midnight Runners. It takes the reader to the complicated heart of popular music and its paradoxes – it’s a book about sound that starts from the silence of Paphides himself, who as a child refused to speak for almost four years.’
– Mary Beard, Chair of the RSL Christopher Bland Prize Judges 2021
‘When I finished work on Broken Greek, I didn’t even know if it would find a publisher. So, to have even been shortlisted for the RSL Christopher Bland Prize, was way beyond my wildest expectations. Looking at the shortlist, I didn’t imagine I was in with a shot of winning. I don’t know if Rosanna, Richard, Michael, Louise and Marina feel this way too, but when you write your first book relatively late in life, you feel like someone will correct you if you have the temerity to describe yourself as an author. One of the many beautiful things about this prize is that it will undoubtedly embolden older writers plotting a course through their first book. And I’m grateful and touched beyond measure to be a small part of its story.’
– Pete Paphides, Winner of the RSL Christopher Bland Prize 2021
Watch our announcement video here: