Friday, June 01, 2007

Uncommon Commonwealth Winners

The overall winners of the Commonwealth Writers Prize have been announced.

The award for best overall book has been won by New Zealander Lloyd Jones for Mister Pip. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Jones, is the first Kiwi to take the award since 1989, when Janet Frame won with her novel, The Carpathians.
Mister Pip tells the story of a teacher who educates a small village's children by reading them Charles Dickens' Great Expectations. ... After the book is destroyed in rebel fighting, he encourages them to retell the story from remembered fragments.
The Hon Justice Nicholas Hasluck speaking on behalf of the Pan-Commonwealth judging panel at the award ceremony in Jamaica commented that:
This mesmerising story shows how books can change lives in utterly surprising ways.
The winner for the best first book went to Canadian writer D Y B├ęchard for Vandal Love:
... an epic family tale, poetic and gritty, magical and yet believable, replete with misfits and boxers, giants and runts.
The novel, which took Bechard eight years to write, traces generations of a French-Canadian family through the 20th century as they move across North America in search of a place to belong.

The French-Canadian family background is fascinating. (And don't we always love the gossipy bits, whether or not they have anything to do with the writing!) His father was a bank robber with more than 50 heists to his credit, while his American mother was into the occult and conducted seances.

Not surprisingly, a memoir is also in the works!

2 comments:

Obiter Dictum said...

Saw Vandal Love at Kino S'pore, as much as I would to own a hardcover edition, it just is too damn expensive, got side tracked by other books in the paperback sections, my miss.

Sure you can link my blog.

Hope to be there for longer than last time. Anonymity helps.

abdullahjones said...

wah! kamu menulis tentang si pitak! saya sangat gembira! itu buku kegemaran saya semasa kecil. terima kasih kerana mengembalikan kenangan kepada saya.