An­nounc­ing the re­sults of our Big Book Awards

Harper's Bazaar (UK) - - Contents -

Bazaar’s choice of the best Mod­ern Clas­sic in the Big Book Awards

Who would come out on top of the Big Book pile? The com­pe­ti­tion was stiff, but in the end, The Guernsey Lit­er­ary and Potato Peel Pie So­ci­ety by Mary Ann Shaf­fer has been de­clared the win­ner of the Harper’s Bazaar Mod­ern Clas­sics award. And no won­der; even be­fore the film adap­ta­tion star­ring our cover girl Lily James, this was a beloved book that went straight to read­ers’ hearts from the day it was pub­lished a decade ago. It tells – by means of an ex­change of let­ters, a won­der­fully in­ti­mate way to read – the story of a writer, Juliet Ashton, as she searches for the sub­ject of her new fic­tion just af­ter the end of World War II. She stum­bles across the story of the Ger­man Oc­cu­pa­tion of Guernsey… and finds more than she bar­gained for. As Lily James told Bazaar: ‘The stakes are so high. You see peo­ple liv­ing and do­ing ev­ery­thing they would have done in these ex­treme cir­cum­stances.’

Trag­i­cally, Shaf­fer did not live to see the suc­cess of her only novel; she died be­fore it was pub­lished, and it was fin­ished by her niece Annie Bar­rows. And so it re­mains a re­mark­able tes­ta­ment to many kinds of courage and per­se­ver­ance; wor­thy to be cho­sen as our Big Book. erica wag­ner

Lily James, the star of the film adap­ta­tion of ‘The Guernsey Lit­er­ary and Potato Peel Pie So­ci­ety’, in this year’s April is­sue

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