Phil Klay’s Redeployment wins the Warwick Prize for Writing 2015

Phil Klay, winner of the Warwick Prize for Writing 2015

Phil Klay, winner of the Warwick Prize for Writing 2015

Phil Klay has been named the winner of the Warwick Prize for Writing 2015 for Redeployment, a short story collection dealing with the American experience of the Iraq War, published by Canongate.

Redeployment chronicles the effects of the American war in Iraq, from the perspectives of the soldiers on the frontline, the anguished military wife at home, the military chaplain and the veterans grappling with the effects of their dislocation.

The Warwick Prize for Writing is awarded every two years for a substantial piece of writing in the English language and this year’s theme is ‘Instinct’.

Founded in 2009, the prize is run by the University of Warwick. The nominations process was expanded in 2013 to include Monash University, following the formation of the Monash Warwick Alliance.

Students and staff at both universities were invited to make nominations alongside publisher submissions.

On announcing the winner, the chair of judges, AL Kennedy said the judges were delighted to give the prize to Klay:

"Redeployment is a scaldingly affecting book. We were all held by it. There is remarkable control, delicacy and subtlety in the spare style of prose here and a real grip of various psychologies and voices across the collection. Within his own terms, the author has reflected a wide range of experience and has translated personal knowledge into living fiction,” she said.

A New York Times bestselling author and one of the most highly acclaimed pieces of fiction in 2014, Klay served in Iraq during the surge, before studying creative writing with Peter Carey, Colum McCann and Richard Ford.

The biennial prize, worth £25,000 and run by the University of Warwick, is uniquely international and cross-disciplinary award, open to any genre or form of writing.

Klay’s Redeployment was joined on the shortlist by Karen Joy Fowler’s We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (Serpent’s Tail), Rebecca Goss’ Her Birth (Carcanet), Karl Ove Knausgaard’s A Man In Love (Harvill Secker), Marilynne Robinson’s Lila (Virago) and Mark Vanhoenacker’s Skyfaring (Chatto & Windus).

In addition to winning the £25,000 monetary prize, Klay will be awarded the opportunity to take up a short placement at the University of Warwick.

The judging panel for the 2015 prize is chaired by Warwick Associate Professor, alumna and author AL Kennedy, who is joined by author and academic Robert Macfarlane, actor and director Fiona Shaw, Warwick alumnus and Lonely Planet founder Tony Wheeler and physician and writer Gavin Francis.

Formed in early 2012, the Monash Warwick Alliance represents an innovation in higher education and research and aims to accelerate the exchange of people, ideas and information between Monash University and the University of Warwick.