The 2021 Gordon Burn Prize was awarded to Hanif Abdurraqib for A Little Devil in America.
In this exhilarating and profound series of essays, Hanif Abdurraqib delivers a meditation on Black performance in the modern age that reaches back through the lives of musicians, cultural figures, history and his own life. In rhythmic prose, Abdurraqib peels away layers of resonance in Black and white cultures, the politics of American empire, and his own personal history of love and grief – whether it’s the twenty-seven seconds of ‘Gimme Shelter’ in which Merry Clayton sings, or the magnificent hours of Aretha Franklin’s homegoing; Beyoncé’s Super Bowl half-time show or a schoolyard fistfight; Dave Chapelle’s skits or a game of spades among friends.
Hanif receives £5,000 and the chance to undertake a writing retreat of up to three months at Gordon Burn’s cottage in Berwickshire in the Scottish Borders. The 2021 prize was announced on 14 October 2021 at Durham Book Festival.
See the Gordon Burn Prize site for more details.