Best News of the Week
Two items of good news this week. I don’t usually rate literary prizes, and the announcement of their winners often elicits a groan of pain from me. But both of these were deserved.
1. Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe won the 2007 Man Booker International Prize for fiction. Other nominees for the prize included Philip Roth, Margaret Atwood and Ian McEwan.
The $120,000 prize is awarded every two years for a body of fiction.
Achebe, 76, is best known for his first novel, Things Fall Apart (1958). He has written more than 20 books, including novels, short stories, essays and collections of poetry.
2. The Norwegian author Per Petterson has won the 100,000 euro IMPAC Dublin Literary Award for his novel “Out Stealing Horses,” which charts how a child’s death and a family breakdown end a teenager’s innocence and haunt him into old age.
Petterson, 55, received three-quarters of the award with the remainder going to Anne Born, who translated the novel into English.
The novel follows an ageing man as he recalls the traumatic events of his childhood. His destiny changed direction in the summer of 1948, when he was only 15. Through his memories the novel explores how the recovered past impinges on the present.
Anne Born’s English translation of the novel was published in November 2005 to great critical acclaim. It has yet to reach the wider audience enjoyed by the original in Petterson’s home country.
My review of To Siberia, Per Petterson’s latest offering, is here.
The picture, above, shows Per Petterson and Ann Born.