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Spare double-nominated for book of the year prizes

today08/03/2024

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Spare double-nominated for book of the year prizes

The Duke of Sussex has been double-nominated at the British Book Awards for his controversial memoir Spare, as those up for gongs were celebrated for “starting conversations and pushing boundaries”.

The 39-year-old royal’s headline-grabbing book – in which he accused his brother, the Prince of Wales, of pushing him into a dog bowl in a row over the Duchess of Sussex – has been shortlisted for two book of the year prizes.

Harry used the tell-all book to make various claims about his family including that William called Meghan “difficult”, “rude” and “abrasive”, that the King was jealous of the Prince and Princess of Wales and Charles refused to allow the Duchess of Sussex to join the Duke in Scotland as the late Queen was dying.

The ghost-written autobiography has been given nods in the categories of narration audiobook non-fiction, which the Duke of Sussex provided, and non-fiction: narrative.

When the Nibbies were first launched in 1990, the King won author of the year.

The Duke of Sussex faces competition in non-fiction: narrative from Dragons’ Den entrepreneur Steven Bartlett for The Diary Of A CEO: The 33 Laws Of Business And Life, singer Britney Spears’ The Woman In Me and former Conservative MP Rory Stewart’s Politics On The Edge along with other nominees.

Spears’ memoir was also hotly anticipated and detailed her controversial 13-year conservatorship along with her past romantic relationships including with American singer and actor Justin Timberlake.

However, she left the audiobook for Oscar-nominated actress Michelle Williams, known for Blue Valentine and My Week With Marilyn, to voice as the process of recalling her life had been so “heart-wrenching and emotional”.

Harry is up against Bartlett for the audiobook non-fiction prize along with those also doing voice work including comedian and actor David Mitchell for Unruly: A History of England’s Kings And Queens, Star Trek actor Sir Patrick Stewart’s memoir Making It So and Steve Coogan character Alan Partridge’s fictional autobiography Big Beacon.

Also given a nod in this category is a narration of 1992 novel Poor Things by Alasdair Gray, which was adapted into the Oscar-nominated film of the same name, about a woman who has the brain of infant transplanted into her body, starring Emma Stone.

Philip Jones, editor of The Bookseller and chairman of The British Book Awards judges, said: “Last year saw the book business roll up its sleeves, stare down the cost-of-living crisis and post-Covid troubles, and unleash a series of memorable and remarkable new titles.

“Book-ended by two record-breakers – Prince Harry’s Spare and the fifth book in Alice Oseman’s Heartstopper series – this year’s titles did what the industry does best: start conversations, connect communities and push boundaries.

“Our collective ability to support the creative endeavours of writers and illustrators, and to judge and deliver what readers want, continues to be a wonder to behold. It is an honour to celebrate these success stories.”

The Duke of Sussex’s book was the fastest-selling non-fiction book in the UK since records began in 1998, according to Nielsen BookData, despite extracts being leaked online.

It also claimed the Prince of Wales teased Harry about his panic attacks, that the King put his own interests above his second son and saw the Duke of Sussex reference taking cocaine, marijuana and psychedelic mushrooms and his enjoyment of the American sitcom Friends.

Also receiving British Book Awards nods was Heartstopper: Volume 5 by Alice Oseman for children’s illustrated, Little People, Big Dreams: King Charles by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara for children’s non-fiction, Pointless star Richard Osman’s The Last Devil To Die for crime and thriller and ex-Smiths musician Johnny Marr’s Marr’s Guitars for non-fiction: lifestyle and illustrated.

Tackle! by romance writer Dame Jilly Cooper is also up for fiction along with Kate Mosse for love story The Ghost Ship and Irish author Claire Keegan’s new novel So Late In The Day.

The judges include Mr Bates Vs The Post actor, Toby Jones, BBC Radio 5 Live presenter Nihal Arthanayake, ITV presenter Lorraine Kelly and crime author Janice Hallett.

The awards ceremony will be at Grosvenor House in London on May 13.

Published: by Radio NewsHub

Written by: Radio News Hub


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