The UK’s only award for books exploring the LGBTQI experience announces it’s 2020 winners 


Amrou Al-Kadhi and Kate Davieshave tonight been announced as the winners of the 2020 Polari Prizes, the UK’s only award celebrating literature that explores the LGBTQI experience. 

Amrou becomes the 10th winner of the Polari First Book Prize, established in 2011, for their remarkably honest, funny and moving memoir Life As A Unicorn, whilst Kate Davies scooped the Polari Prize for non-debut talent for her frank and funny novel In At The Deep End.

The winners were announced in a digital ceremony in association with the Southbank Centre, hosted by author and founder Paul Burston who described this year’s winning titles as exceptionally good reads – original, genre-defying, hugely entertaining and unapologetically queer.”

Amrou’s memoir Life As A Unicornis an honest, heart-breaking and often hilarious account of the author’s journey from god-fearing Muslim boy enraptured with their mother, to a vocal, queer drag queen estranged from their family. Commenting on the winner, the 2020 judges said that Life as a Unicorn offered a “unique perspective at the intersection of gender, race and sexuality whilst being highly emotive and deeply moving.” 

It becomes the 10th winner of the Polari First Book Prize following in the footsteps of former winners including Fiona Mozley, Kirsty Logan, Paul McVeigh and Mari Hannah.

In At The Deep End is a frank and funny novel exploring sex, love and self-understanding and triumphed against work by authors including Dustin Lance Black, Juno Roche, Niven Govinden and Robert Hamberger. 

Announcing the winner, poet and judge Andrew McMillan described it as an “open, generous, bold and unashamedly commercial novel that deals quite rarely with lesbian love, lesbian sex and lesbian eroticism.”

We couldn’t be more proud of these fabulously queer writers. 📖

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.