Kate Wyver’s reflections on a complex game about grief and journalism earned her joint second place in this year’s Observer/Anthony Burgess prize
• The winning review: Jason Watkins on Daisy Campbell’s Pigspurt’s Daughter
• Joint runner-up: Tara McEvoy on Terrance Hayes’s American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin
Kate Wyver, 22, studied theatre and performance at the University of Bristol. Now based in London, she works as a bookseller and freelance journalist, primarily for the Guardian. The judges were impressed with how her review “placed the work in the wider context of how journalism is changing in a digital world”.
It was hastily done. A desperate journalist scrawled an interview request on a torn scrap of paper and slipped it under Dan Hett’s door. “I’m very sorry to bother you,” the note began, “but…” It was 23 May 2017, the morning after the terror attack that claimed 23 lives at Ariana Grande’s Manchester concert, and hungry journalists were circling family members of the missing. Hett tweeted a photo of his brother Martyn, who had been at the concert and wasn’t answering his phone. Did anyone have any information? Sensing an opportunity, the famished flock descended.