25 September 2013 by Alex Stewart
The Author's' Club Dolman Travel Book of the Year 2013 has been won jointly by Kathleen Jamie for Sightlines and Robert Macfarlane for the Old Ways, the first time in the award's history that the prize has been shared.
First launched in 2006, the Authors' Club Dolman Travel Book of the Year is the only UK travel writing award and has attracted top travel writers from around the world. The prize looks for works of literary merit hat show excellence in the tradition of great travel writing, combining a personal journey with the discovery or recovery of places, landscapes or peoples to instil a sense of place, excitement and wonder in the reader.
The 2013 shortlist featured
- Looking for Transwonderland:Travels in Nigeria by Noo Saro-Wiwa (Granta Books)
- Meander: East to West Along a Turkish River by Jeremy Seal (Chatto & Windus)
- Sightlines by Kathleen Jamie (Sort of Books)
- The Golden Door: Letters to America by A.A. Gill (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
- The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot by Robert MacFarlane (Hamish Hamilton)
- The Robber of Memories: A River Journey Through Columbia by Michael Jacobs (Granta Books)
The judging panel,which had 113 collective years of writing, editing, publishing and travelling experience between them, was headed up by leading travel author and publisher Barnaby Rogerson, who commented that, 'Judging was very animated. The entire panel are deeply committed to travel writing so strong opinions were expressed on everything...this was a fierce battle to the finish...'
'As it transpired, the judges were drawn equally to two particular authors...after four hours of ardent conversation and debate it was agreed that the only thing possible in the circumstances - and for the first time in the history of the prize - was to split the 2013 Dolman Travel Book of the Year, and awarded the accolade to both of them.'