Viking/Penguin Author Ruth Ozeki Wins 2022 Women’s Prize for Fiction


Viking/Penguin author Ruth Ozeki has won the 2022 Women’s Prize for Fiction for THE BOOK OF FORM AND EMPTINESS: A Novel  it was announced Wednesday, June 15, at a ceremony in London.  The UK-based prize annually recognizes and highlights the best fiction written by women from all over the world. 

2022 Women’s Prize for Fiction Chair of Judges Mary Ann Sieghart said, “In an extraordinary year for fiction written by women, and from an incredibly strong shortlist, we were thrilled to choose Ruth Ozeki’s The Book of Form and Emptiness, which stood out for its sparkling writing, warmth, intelligence, humour and poignancy. A celebration of the power of books and reading, it tackles big issues of life and death, and is a complete joy to read. Ruth Ozeki is a truly original and masterful storyteller.”

In her acceptance speech, Ms. Ozeki thanked Viking/Penguin’s Paul Slovak and Andrea Schulz, as well as the women and women’s institutions who have supported her throughout her career, noting,  “I wanted to call out the names of the women who have supported me, because now more than ever this is a time that we need to speak out and rewrite the dominant narratives that have landed us into quite dire straits.”

Photo © Danielle Tait

Asked about her inspiration for writing THE BOOK OF FORM AND EMPTINESS, the Penguin paperback edition of which was published this week, Ms. Ozeki said: “As a child, I related to objects as though they were semi-sentient, and even now I think about the stories that things could tell if only they could speak. Do things (trees, pebbles, toaster ovens, nuclear reactors, etc.) speak? Can they teach us about life? About reality? Obviously, the answer is yes, if we could only learn to listen.’ ”

Congratulations to Ms. Ozeki, her editor Paul Slovak, and everyone at Viking/Penguin.

To watch video of the 2022 Women’s Prize for Fiction awards ceremony, click here.

Posted: June 17, 2022