The book, which follows the story of a Dutch girl who was taken in by the author's grandparents before her own parents were sent to Auschwitz, was called "sensational and gripping - the hidden gem of the year" by the judges.
The Cut Out Girl is a powerful, harrowing story about a young girl's struggle to survive Nazi persecution, and a man's attempt to unveil his family's secrets. Here, Bart van Es, the author of the book, describes his first encounter with the woman at the centre of the book, Lien de Jong.
Bart van Es was born in the Netherlands and is bilingual in English and Dutch. He now lives with his family in England. He is a Professor of English Literature at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of St Catherine's College. He has published three books, including, most recently, A Very Short Introduction to Shakespeare's Comedies.