PRESS RELEASE

2019 Moore Prize literature Winner For Immediate Release 11 December 2019


The Moore Prize was established to encourage original, creative, and courageous writing of fiction and non-fiction about the relationship of power to the lives of ordinary citizens in all parts of the globe; and to encourage authors to investigate and analyze the causes of conflict, abuse and violation of human rights. The winner of the Prize receives £1,000.

The judges of the Moore Prize 2019 have announced that The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row by Anthony Ray Hinton is the winning book. A summary of the books by the Chairperson of the judging panel is supported by all of the judges.

This year’s finalists for the Moore Prize are a diverse set of fictions that attest, individually and collectively, to the resilience of the human spirit and value of human dignity when these are most imperilled. Our imaginations are challenged and our capacities for empathy and sympathy enlarged in unexpected ways by reading these imaginative and ambitious writers. The other four short-listed titles for the Moore Prize 2019 were: No Turning Back by Rania Abouzeid, No Friend But the Mountains by Behrooz Boochani, The Beekeeper of Sinjar by Dunya Mikhail, and Climate Justice by Mary Robinson.



The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row by Anthony Ray Hinton

 

On behalf of the Moore Prize 2019 judging panel, Adrienne Loftus Parkins issued this statement:

Our choice for the 2019 Moore Prize winner represents the very best of human rights themed writing published in the past year. The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton is a personal memoir of struggle against the overwhelming hardship endured by the author during his 28 years on death row in an Alabama prison - for a crime evidence showed he did not commit. It was written in a moving, revealing and inspirational way that stood out from an already very strong short list of books.


Hinton’s story is one of the triumph of the human spirit over a system of ingrained racism, corruption and an unjust judicial system. The jury was struck by the way in which Hinton dealt with and thought about his treatment and his on going quest for justice. Despite the atrocities he faced, he never seemed to lose his optimism, warmth and drive for freedom. His prose is moving, revealing and never fails to inspire.


The Sun Does Shine highlights the human rights abuses endemic in the US justice system, a country that we don’t usually think of as a human rights abuser. This was a point that the jury felt was important to bring to light. This book did so in a way which is approachable and strongly supports the principles of the Moore Prize.

 

The 2019 Moore Prize’s distinguished panel of judges:

Sam Zarifi became the Secretary General of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) in 2017. An Iranian-American lawyer, Zarifi joined the ICJ in 2012 as Regional Director for the Asia & Pacific Region. Prior to joining the ICJ, he served as Amnesty International’s director for Asia and the Pacific from 2008 to 2012, and before that worked at Human Rights Watch from 2000.

Adrienne Loftus Parkins is the Founder and former Director of the Asia House Festival of Asian Literature, the only festival in the UK dedicated to Asian writing. Adrienne co-founded Anamika, a women’s educational group in India, has worked closely with the Pan Asian Women’s Association to promote Asian women writers, and is a cross-cultural consultant to businesses.

Phil Robertson is the Deputy Director of the Asia Division at Human Rights Watch. He previously worked as program manager of the UN Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking, for Chemonics International and for the International Organization for Migration.

Contact: Daniel Vaver, Director, Christopher G. Moore Foundation

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