Marianne Brooker wins the 2022 Fitzcarraldo Editions/Mahler & LeWitt Studios Essay Prize


Marianne Brooker has won the Fitzcarraldo Editions Mahler & LeWitt Studios Essay Prize for her essay proposal Intervals,  an essay about choice, interdependence and end-of-life care, to be published in February 2024. Blending memoir, polemic and feminist philosophy in order to transform grief into a resource for politics, Intervals explores the space between proximity and complicity, charting the author’s care for her mother as she refused food and water at the end of her life, determined to end her suffering from Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. 

Brooker is a writer based in Bristol, where she works in community-led local media. She was formerly co-editor of the Ecologist, a climate justice news website.She read for a BA and MPhil in English at the University of Cambridge, and holds a PhD in English Literature from Birkbeck, which she worked on while caring for her mother.

The other shortlisted authors, chosen from 124 entries, are Chloe Evans for Elastic Bands, Holly Isard with Molecular Visions, Benoit Loîseau for Fast, Oliver Shamlou for Shabaneh and Stephanie Y Tam with Radio Silence

The annual competition for unpublished writers awards £3,000 to the writer of the best proposal of a book-length essay, by a writer resident in the UK and Ireland who has yet to secure a publishing deal. In addition to the prize money, in the form of an advance against publication with Fitzcarraldo Editions, the winner has the opportunity to spend up to two months in residency at the Mahler & LeWitt Studios in Spoleto, Italy, to work on their book. The book will then be published by Fitzcarraldo Editions.  

The 2022 Fitzcarraldo Editions/Mahler & LeWitt Studios Essay Prize was judged by Testard, Joanna Biggs, Brian Dillon, Joanna Kavenna and Max Porter.