News | Sunday, 07 December 2008

2008 book award for author dead since 1940

Imagine William Shakespeare winning the 2008 Booker Prize. Or perhaps Virginia Woolf. That’s just what happened with the Maltese book award presented last Thursday which saw Guze Bonnici – dead since 1940 – getting the first prize for Maltese literature for his short stories.
It’s not that there are no living Maltese authors – Trevor Zahra came second – but the National Book Award regulations still make it possible for whoever collects other people’s writings to present them and win the award.
In fact, the prize did not go to Bonnici’s estate but to Ghaqda tal-Malti, which published the late author’s stories, almost 70 years since his demise.
Last year, the second prize for literature was won by the National Council for the Maltese Language which compiled a selection of writings by various authors.
As if Bonnici was not old enough, even the Bible – over 2,000 years old –found itself among the winners in the category for “translations and books in other languages for children”. And although the National Book Council had introduced a specific category for religious books, religion still managed, yet again, to pervade the awards. Besides a book on St Gorg Preca written by Joe Mikallef winning this category, the category for children’s prose was won by a booklet on Dun Gorg by Emanuel Curmi, while a book on icons and the gospels won second prize for research.


Any comments?
If you wish your comments to be published in our Letters pages please click button below.
Please write a contact number and a postal address where you may be contacted.



Copyright © MediaToday Co. Ltd, Vjal ir-Rihan, San Gwann SGN 9016, Malta, Europe
Managing editor Saviour Balzan | Tel. ++356 21382741 | Fax: ++356 21385075 | Email