Ondaatje Prize

The Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize is an annual literary award given by the Royal Society of Literature. The £10,000 award is given for a work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry which evokes the "spirit of a place", and which is written by someone who is a citizen of or who has been resident in the Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland.
The prize bears the name of its benefactor Christopher Ondaatje.

 

2018 selection

Mama Amazonica

Ondaatje Prize 2018

by Pascale Petit

Mama Amazonica is set in a psychiatric ward and in the Amazon rainforest, an asylum for animals on the brink of extinction. It reveals the story of Pascale Petit’s mentally ill mother and the consequences...


2017 selection

Golden Hill

Desmond Elliott Prize 2017, Ondaatje Prize 2017

by Francis Spufford

A Wall Street Journal Top Ten Fiction Book of 2017 * A Washington Post Notable Fiction Book of the Year * A Seattle Times Favorite Book of 2017 * An NPR Best Book of 2017 * A Kirkus Reviews Best Historical Fiction...


2013 selection

Scenes from Early Life

Ondaatje Prize 2013

by Philip Hensher

From the Man Booker–short-listed author of The Northern Clemency, a family and a nation—Bangladesh—are forged through storytelling, conversation, jokes, feuds, blood, songs, bravery, and sacrifice

In late...


2012 selection

The Sly Company of People Who Care

Ondaatje Prize 2012

by Rahul Bhattacharya

In flight from the tame familiarity of home in Bombay, a twenty-six-year-old cricket journalist chucks his job and arrives in Guyana, a forgotten colonial society of raw, mesmerizing beauty. Amid beautiful,...


2011 selection

The Hare with Amber Eyes

Ondaatje Prize 2011

by Edmund De Waal

The Ephrussis were a grand banking family, as rich and respected as the Rothschilds, who "burned like a comet" in nineteenth-century Paris and Vienna society. Yet by the end of World War II, almost the only...