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SPUD WINS AWARD (article first published : 2006-09-3)

The story of a boy’s first year at an elite boys only private boarding school has won the prestigious Booksellers’ Choice Award.

Spud written by John Van de Ruit and published by The Penguin Group (SA), won the vote of booksellers across South Africa as the book they most enjoyed promoting and reading in the past year.

“I am thrilled and deeply honoured to have won this prestigious award,” says John van de Ruit. “Not only have SA booksellers embraced Spud, but they have actively promoted a new South African work by a debut author.”

The Booksellers’ Choice Award, sponsored by BookData, is an important award for South African writing, the book trade and the reading public. It is awarded to the book that booksellers across the country have most enjoyed reading, selling or promoting over the past year. Only open to South African authors who are published in South Africa, the award draws attention to the excellence and high standard of South African writing.

The book was chosen from a shortlist of six: Spud by John van de Ruit published by The Penguin Group (SA); Die Uitgespoeldes by Dalene Matthee published by The Penguin Group (SA); Smacked by Melinda Ferguson published by Oshun Books; Acid Alex by Al Lovejoy published by Zebra Press; The Hansie Cronje Story: An Authorised Biography by Garth King published by Global Creative Studios, and Into the Past – a Memoir by Phillip Tobias published by Picador Africa and Wits University Press.

John van de Ruit was born in Durban and educated at Michaelhouse and the University of Natal (now University of KwaZulu-Natal) where he completed a Masters degree in Drama and Performance. Since 1998 he has been a professional actor, playwright and producer, winning numerous awards. He is best known for his collaboration with Ben Voss on the hit satirical sketch show Green Mamba which has toured extensively throughout Southern Africa since 2002. Spud is his first novel.




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