Alert! Ceridwen Dovey and Mark Gevisser have won the 2008 Sunday Times Literary Awards. Dovey won the R75 000 Fiction Prize for her novel, Blood Kin and Gevisser the equally lucrative Alan Paton Award for his biography, Thabo Mbeki: The Dream Deferred.
Unlike in previous years, there were no runners-up.
Both Dovey and Gevisser have essentially “done the double” this year, with Blood Kin also taking the University of Johannesburg Prize, while Thabo Mbeki beat all comers to the Recht Malan Prize. The books are clearly this season’s thorougbreds.
Three other authors featured in the winners’ speeches: Dovey included JM Coetzee on her list of thank-yous, both for supplying her novel with a cover blurb and also for being so encouraging to the coming generations of SA writers – for helping to make them feel like “writers”; and she also thanked Stephen Watson, who had overseen her work in the UCT Creative Writing programme. (It’s worth bearing in mind that Coetzee was a fellow shortlistee.) Gevisser, meanwhile, made special mention of Isobel Dixon, who was intregral, he said, to the shaping of his book, and whom he called “the greatest promoter of South African literature we have”.
For those who placed bets – and won points – via the friendly competition we ran, the payouts are listed here for the Fiction Prize and here for the Alan Paton Award. (Note: we had to choose second-place finishers to generate the results – even though there were none – and did this randomly.) To PIEP HURRIKEN – we know who you are!
Three more photos to whet your palate for the deluge of images and video that BOOK SA will be bringing you over the next few days, to commemorate a splendid and successful awards evening: