Tuesday, November 20, 2012
The author of "Seating Arrangements" has won a prestigious literary award for writers under 30. It's her debut novel.
At 29 years old, Maggie Shipstead just made the cutoff age for the Dylan Thomas Prize, named after the Welsh poet who excelled in his 20s. Any writer under 30 writing in the English language is eligible for the prize, which comes with a gift of $48,000.
Shipstead won the award for her debut novel "Seating Arrangements."
Her win was announced at a ceremonial dinner in Wales.
"I was genuinely surprised," said the Harvard-educated Shipstead. "My UK publisher was sitting a couple of seats away and he jumped up and almost overturned the table."
"Seating Arrangements" takes place on a fictional island off New England as a family prepares for a shotgun wedding. The main character is the 59-year-old patriarch of the family. The novel is a satire of the social conventions of New England's old money families.
Shipstead wrote the first draft of the novel in nine months while living on Nantucket.
When Shipstead’s not traveling the world, she lives with her parents on Coronado. Her next novel is set in Southern California.