Omar Robert Hamilton Shortlisted for Betty Trask Prize

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We're thrilled to share that Omar Robert Hamilton has been shortlisted for the Betty Trask Prize, with his debut novel, The City Always Wins. The Betty Trask Prize and Awards are presented for a first novel by a writer under 35.

Judges Ben Brooks, Joanne Harris and Samantha Shannon said of the shortlist; "The Trask shortlist is always very strong, very original, and this year is no different - six books reflecting the excellent quality and diversity of new writers today." Past winners include Zadie Smith, David Szalay, Hari Kunzru and Sarah Waters. Total prize and award fund is £26,250.

The prize will be awarded alongside winners of the McKitterick, Tom-Gallon and Somerset Maugham awards at The Authors’ Awards on Thursday 19th July, a unique night with all the awards judged by authors for authors. 

Omar Robert Hamilton is an award-winning filmmaker and writer. He has written for the Guardian, the London Review of Books, Mada Masr and Guernica. He is a co-founder of the Palestine Festival of Literature and the Mosireen media collective in Cairo., where he lives.

The City Always Wins takes place on the streets of Cairo, where a violent uprising is transforming the course of modern history. Mariam and Khalil, two young activists, are swept up in the political fervour. Their lives will never be the same again.

Brave, visceral, and electric with tension, his debut novel uniquely captures the feverish intensity of the 2011 Egyptian revolution. From the euphoria of mass protests to the chilling silence of the morgue, The City Always Wins is the only novel that allows readers to pierce to the bloody heart of the uprising. Intensely lyrical, yet uncompromisingly political, Omar Robert Hamilton's writing is set to become the defining voice of a revolution that promised so much to so many.

Joanne Harris, Betty Trask judge says: "Tough, bleak and relentless, this is a challenging, thoughtprovoking, heart-wrenching and in many ways, necessary novel - we have all, after all, watched these events from the safety of our TV screens, but this glimpse into the reality of the events of 2011 is a wholly different, immersive – and ultimately rewarding - experience."

Congratulations Omar! Get hold of the book, here, today.