Heather Dewar ends the piece with this wonderful paragraph:
Good fiction saves the world of the writer who feels compelled to write, and of the reader whose imagination and soul is fed by the story the fiction writer tells. Good fiction does not offer up the calories a hungry man craves, or the medicine a sick woman needs. But the Bellwether Prize, in its mission to "support the imagination of human possibilities", takes the step of acknowledging those needs, and assigns to the fiction writer the task of helping to satisfy them. The prize's strength and essentialness, the important as readers of looking out for the books it produces, comes in its commitment to both social responsibility and good writing--two things that, when taken together, can certainly change the world, if not save it.My recent doubts about the relevance of fiction have drifted away; reading this helps blow away the last lingering shreds.