A collection of essays by the winner and the five finalists of the prestigious Notting Hill Editions Essay Prize 2017
Covering an array of subjects, from the meaning of art to supermarket shopping, these pieces were chosen for their originality, literary style, and above all, their ability to persuade. The judges awarded the first prize to "Five Ways of Being a Painting" by William Max Nelson for "its curious mix of the philosophical and the personal, the argumentative and the ruminative, that makes it a real essay." The biennial Notting Hill Editions Essay Prize is open to all essays written in English of between 2,000 and 8,000 words, on any subject. The first prize is £20,000 and five runners up each receive £1,000, making it the richest non-fiction prize in the world. The judges of the 2017 prize were: Kirsty Gunn, essayist and novelist; Daniel Mendelsohn, essayist, memoirist and critic; Sameer Rahim, Arts & Books Editor of Prospect; and Rosalind Porter, Deputy Editor of Granta Magazine. The winner of the inaugural prize was Michael Ignatieff, with his essay on Raphael Lemkin and genocide; the 2015 prize was won by the African American author David Bradley with his essay on the use of the word "nigger." Essays by runners-up Laura Esther Wolfson, Garret Keizer, Karen Holmberg, Patrick McGuinness, Dasha Shkurpela are included.