The winner of the 2016 Bodley Head/FT Essay Prize is ‘Cash & Curry’ by Christopher Newens.
Chris Newens said about the essay, “I was fastidious about keeping a journal everywhere I went in India but the idea of doing a piece about how I’d structured the trip hadn’t occurred to me. Then the demonetisation crisis hit India . . . and I knew that it was something I had to write about. But it was only in Madurai, where I learned about the Hindu belief that the spirit of gods are maintained in idols through worship, that I began to see a link with the money and my Stein pilgrimage.”
The piece is now online and will be printed in tomorrow’s Financial Times Life & Arts supplement.
The judging panel comprised Simon Schama, Stuart Williams, Rachel Cugnoni, Alec Russell (FT Weekend Editor) and Georgina Capel (of Georgina Capel Associates). The winner was chosen from hundreds of entries from young writers around the world.
The competition, in its fifth year, aims to discover new talent in long-form non-fiction writing. Previous winners include Edward Posnett and Laurence Blair, both since signed up by The Bodley Head for book projects.