‘Ghosts of the Tsunami’ by Richard Lloyd Parry Wins Rathbones Folio Prize for Literature

A reporter’s powerful account of communities devastated by Japan’s 2011 earthquake and tsunami won the Rathbones Folio Prize for literature on Tuesday.

Richard Lloyd Parry’s “Ghosts of the Tsunami” was named winner of the 20,000 pound ($27,000) prize at a ceremony in London.

Lloyd Parry, Asia editor for the Times of London, spent years covering the aftermath of the disaster, which killed more than 15,000 people and triggered the meltdown of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant.

The judging panel said the book was “both harrowing and inspiring” in its depiction of a nation’s grief and conveyed the “complexities and subtleties” of Japanese life to a foreign audience.

Lloyd Parry paid tribute to the survivors he interviewed about their traumatic experiences. He said that as a journalist he sometimes asked “is it going to be worth it in the end? The award of this prize gives me hope that it was worth it.”

Founded in 2013 to rival the prestigious Man Booker Prize, the Folio is open to both fiction and nonfiction published in Britain. Winners are picked by a judging panel chosen from among 300 writers who belong to the Folio Academy.

Lloyd Parry beat seven other finalists, including U.S. writer Elizabeth Strout’s story collection “Anything is Possible,” British-Pakistani author Mohsin Hamid’s novel “Exit West” and the memoir “Once Upon A Time In The East” by Chinese-British writer Xiaolu Guo.

Source: Associated Press