On 7 November 2017, Beth Underwood was announced as the winner of the HWA Debut Crown. I was delighted to be one of the judges, alongside chair Emma Darwin and fellow judges Ayo Onatade, Susan Heads and Sunny Singh. Underwood's "terrifying and utterly convincing" The Witch Finder's Sister was selected as the best historical fiction debut of the previous year. The rest of the incredibly strong shortlist was made up of Emily Bitto's, The Strays, Sarah Day's, Mussolini's Island, Martin Holmén's, Clinch, Abir Mukherjee's, A Rising Man, and finally James Terry's, The Solitary Woman of Shakespeare.
You can read more about the debut crown here hwacrowns.co.uk/hwa-debut-crown/
Ben's second novel, The Other Hoffmann Sister, will be published by Little, Brown in the UK in May 2017.
The Other Hoffmann Sister is about Ingrid Hoffmann, a young woman brought up in German Southwest Africa at the beginning of the twentieth century, who is forced to return to Berlin following a brutal murder and then loses her sister in mysterious circumstances. In the face of war and revolution in Europe, Ingrid desperately tries to discover the truth about her sister's disappearance and in doing so uncovers dark secrets about both her country and her own family.
You can read more about the novel here.
is an award-winning novelist, editor and translator, living between London and Berlin. He currently teaches at the University of Potsdam.