Annal: 1989 Whitbread Book Award for First Novel

Results of the Whitbread Book Award in the year 1989.

Book:Gerontius

Gerontius

James Hamilton-Paterson

In this delightful novel, which won a Whitbread Prize in 1989, James Hamilton-Paterson joins celebrated British composer Edward Elgar on a cruise on the Amazon River and imagines what artists of the time may have pondered. “Oh Edward what a stupid doltish ass you’ve been to waste your life on the idea that art—in its small way—can make the least difference to things,” he imagines Elgar as commenting. The book isn’t merely a collection of questioning ruminations; the cruise is filled with a variety of comical and interesting passengers and crew members.

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