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Notting Hill Editions

Five Ways of Being a Painting and Other Essays

Five Ways of Being a Painting and Other Essays

The Winners of the Third Notting Hill Editions Essay Prize

by William Max Nelson, foreword by Rosalind Porter

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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 the Essay Prize the richest non-fiction prize in the world.

The judges of the 2017 prize were: Rosalind Porter (chair), Deputy Editor of Granta Magazine; Travis Elborough, freelance writer, author, broadcaster and cultural commentator; Kirsty Gunn, essayist and novelist; Daniel Mendelsohn, essayist, memoirist and critic; and Sameer Rahim, Arts & Books Editor of Prospect.

The overall winner is: 

"Five Ways of Being a Painting" by William Max Nelson
On art and painting—how painters have used their bodies in art and painted themselves into the picture. 

The five runners up are:

"In My Head I Carry My Own Zoo: The Collage Work of John Digby" by Karen Holmberg
A beautifully written meditation on the work of John Digby and an interview with the collage artist.

"Grub: A Man in the Market" by Garret Keizer
Funny, engaging, and broadly appealing, an essay on supermarket shopping as the eye to other worlds, and on the culture of supermarkets versus farmer’s markets. 

"The Future of Nostalgia: Orhan Pamuk and the Real Imaginary Museum" by Patrick McGuinness
On the need for nostalgia in our lives, focusing on Orhan Pamuk’s eccentric museum. 

"Dacha" by Dasha Shkurpela
On the "summerhouses" (Dachas) of Soviet communist Russia, which were gifted to important Russians in return for their beautifying the surrounding land. Dachas were made from found material, and this essay is a reflection on history and the need for imagination and resourcefulness.

"Losing the Nobel" by Laura Esther Wolfson
On the art of translation from Russian to English and Wolfson's lost opportunity to translate a Nobel Prize-winning Russian-language writer.

Additional Book Information

Series: Notting Hill Editions
ISBN: 9781910749203
Pages: 172
Publication Date:


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