2021-2022 Anne Middleton Book Prize
The Anne Middleton Book Prize for 2021-22 is awarded to Tekla Bude for Sonic Bodies: Text, Music and Silence in Late Medieval England (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2022). This, the author’s first book, is exceptionally full, ambitious and original. Theorisations of sound and silence provide innovative readings of silence in The Book of Margery Kempe, personification allegory and sound-objects in Piers Plowman, and brilliant explorations of devotional literature: Hilton, Rolle, and an especially fine study of the Latin writings of Carthusians Norton and Methley. It brings new ways of thinking about music and sound to the reading of Middle English literature, and will resonate with sensory studies and work on voice and song. Professor Bude’s definition of ‘sonic bodies’ is intentionally flexible, initially challenging and, in sum, revelatory.