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McGarvey’s Poverty Safari Wins George Orwell Prize

McGarvey’s Poverty Safari Wins George Orwell PrizeMcGarvey’s Poverty Safari Wins George Orwell Prize
People from deprived communities all around Britain feel misunderstood and unheard. Loki gives voice to their feelings and concerns, and the anger that is spilling over. Anger he says we will have to get used to, unless things change

Writer, rapper and community activist Darren McGarvey, also known as Loki, has won the Orwell Prize for Books for his heart-rending debut “Poverty Safari: Understanding the Anger of Britain’s Underclass,” released by Luath Press, based in Edinburg, Scotland.

The award is Britain’s most prestigious prize for political writing and awarded by the Orwell Foundation each year to the book which comes closest to the English writer George Orwell’s ambition “to make political writing into an art.”

It was announced at the Royal Society of Arts House in London on June 25, where McGarvey was presented with a check for £3,000 ($3,500) by Richard Blair, George Orwell’s son, on what would have been Orwell’s 115th birthday, Thebookseller.com reported.

Chair of judges, politician and writer Andrew Adonis, said: “George Orwell would have loved this book. It is heart-rending in its life story and its account of family breakdown and poverty”.

“It made me see the country and its social condition in a new light,” he added.

Literary journalist and festival director Alex Clark, said: “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.”

People from deprived communities all around Britain feel misunderstood and unheard. Loki gives voice to their feelings and concerns, and the anger that is spilling over. Anger he says we will have to get used to, unless things change.

McGarvey grew up in Pollok, in Glasgow city of Scotland. He is a writer, performer, community activist and columnist, and former rapper-in-residence at Police Scotland’s Violence Reduction Unit.

He was part of the Poverty Truth Commission that was hosted in Glasgow in 2009 and has presented eight programs for BBC Scotland exploring the root causes of anti-social behavior and social deprivation.

Poverty Safari has sold 13,424 print copies since November, according to Nielsen BookScan and has been lauded by J K Rowling and Irvine Welsh as well as Ken Loach, Paul Mason and Nicola Sturgeon.

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