As someone who was loudly sceptical of the recent trend in children’s sport to not have winners and losers (just competitors) I am about to be something of a hypocrite but at least I recognise the fact. At next week’s CrimeFest the winner of the inaugural Petrona Award, named in honour of Maxine Clarke, will be announced. I think the award is a great idea but in a way I will be sad to hear the winner announced…I’ve thoroughly enjoyed each of the books on the shortlist and would be just as happy if they all got a trophy.
The shortlist is made up of
- Thomas Enger’s PIERCED, translated by Charlotte Barslund
- Arnaldur Indridason’s BLACK SKIES, translated by Victoria Cribb
- Liza Marklund’s LAST WILL, translated by Neil Smith
- Leif G.W. Persson’s ANOTHER TIME, ANOTHER LIFE, translated by Paul Norlen
There are two polls still open for another few days at Euro Crime (check out the right hand side-bar) and after much thought and many changes of mind I voted for
Which book do you want to win: At the moment my personal favourite of the four is ANOTHER TIME, ANOTHER LIFE which I enjoyed immensely despite the fact it broke many of my personal rules for what makes good fiction. I loved its breadth and structure and the delicate way it showed the changes in Swedish society over time. So, edging out the other three books by the tiniest of margins, this is the book I shall barrack for (though it will be a half-hearted kind of barracking as I genuinely think all the others are equally worthy winners).
Which book do you think should win: I think Norman Price is probably right in thinking it would be particularly fitting if LAST WILL were to win the award given Liza Marklund was one of the Scandinavian writers Maxine championed early on and that this novel concerns another of her keen interests: the depiction of science in fiction. And it is a bloody good read.
But even if one of the others wins I really will be just as happy and so it simply remains to say good luck to all the authors and translators and thank you for many hours of great reading between you.