Scottish rapper Loki aka Darren McGarvey has been a prestigious prize for political writing.
The Orwell prize for Books was awarded to McGarvey at a ceremony at the Royal Society of Arts in London for his debut ‘Poverty Safari’, described as a “searing examination” of working-class life, which draws from his experiences growing up in Pollok.
The Orwell Foundation gives the award every year to the book judged to come closest to George Orwell’s stated ambition ‘to make political writing into an art.’
Andrew Adonis, chair of the judging committee, said: “George Orwell would have loved this book. It echoes Down and Out in Paris and London and The Road to Wigan Pier.”
Fellow committee member Alex Clark added: “What distinguishes Poverty Safari from a ‘straight’ description of a working-class life is his searing examination of the narratives that surround poverty and the way in which no individual, least of all him, can neatly be fitted into them.”
On being presented with a cheque for £3,000 by George Orwell’s son Richard Blair, the winner said: “As a writer, obviously this is tremendously satisfying, but what’s more important is the subject I’ve chosen to write about, which is poverty. It’s something that even the people fighting it often misunderstand.”