Adnan Sarwar, a 35-year old former British soldier who served in the Iraq War, has beaten more than 200 entrants to win the second Financial Times and Bodley Head non-fiction essay competition. His work, ‘British Muslim Soldier’, is a meditation on identity, dealing with why he, a Pakistani boy fromBurnley with no degree, decided to join the British army. It is a work of non-fiction with all the velocity of a gripping short story.
Caroline Daniel, FT Weekend editor and chairman of the six-strong judging panel, said: “The Bodley Head/FT Essay Prize is a truly global competition with entries fromBangaloretoSurrey. In an age remorselessly defined by Twitter, it was a relief – more importantly – a pleasure – to see so many young writers embracing the long-form essay. We look forward to bringing some of these new voices to our FT Weekend readers. Sarwar is a worthy winner.”