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.

 

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...


2008 selection

The Discovery of France: A Historical Geography from the Revolution to the First World War

Ondaatje Prize 2008

by Graham Robb

"A witty, engaging narrative style....[Robb's] approach is particularly engrossing."-New York Times Book Review, front-page review.A narrative of exploration-full of strange landscapes and even stranger inhabitants-that...


2005 selection

The Places in Between

Ondaatje Prize 2005

by Rory Stewart

In January 2002 Rory Stewart walked across Afghanistan-surviving by his wits, his knowledge of Persian dialects and Muslim customs, and the kindness of strangers. By day he passed through mountains covered in...