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The 2011 Jan Rabie Rapport Prize and Media24 Books Literary Awards Winners

Deborah SteinmairSifiso Mzobe

Alert! The winners of the Media24 Books Literary Awards – formerly known as the Via Afrika Literary Awards – and the Jan Rabie Rapport Prize were revealed at a swish function in Cape Town on Friday evening.

Those following the Books LIVE Twitter feed, and that of Books LIVE Afrikaans editor Carolyn Meads, got the scoops early, as winners in each of six categories strode to the podium to receive their certificates and cheques for R35 000.

Joan Rankin, Wendy Hartmann and Eloise WesselsDerick van der Walt en Eloise WesselsEloise Wessels en Deborah SteinmairErica Wessels and Eloise WesselsSifiso Mzobe and Eloise WesselsAlexander Strachan en Eloise Wessels

The Media24 Books Literary Awards (what a mouthful!) are open only to authors whose books have been published within the Media24 Books stable – the NB Group, Jonathan Ball Publishers, and so forth – while the Jan Rabie Rapport Prize, one of the most prestigious in Afrikaans literature, is open to all authors, regardless of the publisher. It was established to recognise “a debut or early work characterised by fresh and innovative Afrikaans prose”.

The 2010 winners may be found here; the 2011 shortlists are here; and, without further ado, here are the 2011 winners:

Marike se laaste dansDwaalpoortYoung BloodThe War for South AfricaWillem Poprok
Just SisiNet Sisi

  • Jan Rabie Rapport Prize: Marike se laaste dans by Deborah Steinmair (Human & Rousseau)
  • WA Hofmeyr Prize for best Afrikaans literary work across all genres: Dwaalpoort by Alexander Strachan (Tafelberg) (Strachan is a previous winner: he won in 1994 for Werfbobboejaan)
  • Herman Charles Bosman Prize for English literature: Young Blood by Sifiso Mzobe (Kwela)
  • Recht Malan Prize for best non-literary or non-fiction book: The War for South Africa: The Anglo-Boer War: 1899-1902 by Bill Nasson (Tafelberg)
  • MER Prize for best youth novel: Willem Poprok by Derick van der Walt (Tafelberg)
  • MER Prize for best illustrated children’s book: Just Sisi / Net Sisi by Wendy Hartmann, illustrated by Joan Rankin

After the prizegiving, the buzz amongst the cocktails and canapes was supplied mainly by three items: Alexander Strachan’s surprise WA Hofmeyr win – he pipped both Ingrid Winterbach and Marlene van Niekerk to the prize, no small feat; Bill Nasson’s history-making with a history book – his The War for South Africa is also shortlisted for the Sunday Times Alan Paton Award; and the rise of a new literary star in Sifiso Mzobe, whose Young Blood is also a Sunday Times shortlistee.

Hearty congratulations to all winners!

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