In April Hood Rat was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize 2012, the most prestigious award for political writing in the UK. Telegraph assistant books editor Sameer Rahim described it as “a tremendous book, written with unobtrusive intelligence, vividness and clarity. It was the best writing we came across to illuminate some of the issues thrown up by the riots of summer 2011.” The prize’s director Jean Seaton said: “What do [the shortlisted books] share – except for a dark content? Precision, wit, elegance: important books about important things. Orwell would have devoured all of them.” She called Hood Rat “Gavin Knight’s extraordinary portrait of the under-belly of urban, unseen Britain.” The prize will be awarded on 23 May.