The Guardian First Book Awards were held last night at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and the winner is Alexandra Harris for Romantic Moderns: English Writers, Artists and the Imagination from Virginia Woolf to John Piper.
She follows in the footsteps of Zadie Smith and Jonathan Safran Foer, two previous winners of the award. Harris, 29, is a lecturer in English at Liverpool University. Her book presents a radically new interpretation of the arts in the interwar period. (Guardian)
Romantic Moderns: English Writers, Artists and the Imagination from Virginia Woolf to John Piper by Alexandra Harris
The Telegraph had this to say about Harris’ book:
Evidently, in this book Alexandra Harris is tackling a crucial subject. It is a survey of British culture between the two world wars, but a highly eclectic and original one. One of its strengths is its inclusiveness when it comes to forms of expression. Not only does Harris deal insightfully with literature, architecture, painting, photography and music but also cookery and garden design – indeed, the chapters on those two last subjects are among the best.
This, however, is a book that makes you think freshly about that perennially puzzling question of what it means to be British. It’s elegant and wittily written, beautifully designed and splendidly illustrated: altogether, an admirable debut. (Telegraph)