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Penny Busetto Wins the 2013 EU Literary Award for The Story of Anna P, as Told by Herself

Penny BusettoThe Story of Anna P, as Told by Herself

Alert! Penny Busetto won the eighth annual European Union Literary Award tonight, in a ceremony at Johannesburg’s Goethe-Institut presided over by one of the icons of South African literature, Mongane Wally Serote.

Busetto’s winning manuscript – the award is given to a first, unpublished work of fiction – is entitled The Story of Anna P, as Told by Herself and will be published by Jacana Media in April 2014.

In addition, the newly-minted author receives R25 000, plus inclusion in an upcoming Exclusive Books promotion.

One of three shortlisted works, The Story of Anna P, as Told by Herself pipped Peter Bayer’s The Last Mentsch and Reen Collett’s Nketu, the Story of a South African King to the gong. Click here for more details on the shortlist. Last year’s winner was Ashraf Kajee, for his novel Khalil’s Journey.

The 2013 judges were Serote, Pamela Nichols and Phakama Mbonambi. Nichols and Jacana’s Maggie Davey delivered the main remarks ahead of the awards presentation, and both reflected on some of the problems facing contemporary South African fiction, from readers’ and publishers’ perspectives.

Nichols lamented the fact that many of the twenty-nine books she and her fellow judges read to arrive at the shortlist comprised stories that lived behind conventional cultural barriers, and failed to engage meaningfully with wider social contexts. Davey related the chilling fact that Jacana was publishing half as much literary fiction as it has in the past, because of the genre’s dropping commercial viability, and issued a plea for writers, readers, publishers and booksellers collectively to work to save the literary novel.

Their remarks served to illustrate the importance of the EU Literary Award in reinvigorating our local fiction scene. Your Correspondent attended the ceremony; here are the main tweets from my timeline:

Press release

European Union Literary Award 2013 – Winner Announcement by Books LIVE

Gallery

Mongane Wally Serote, Phakama Mbonambi, Pamela Nichols, Penny Busetto, EU FriendsPenny BusettoPenny Busetto
 

Recent comments:

  • <a href="http://www.modjajibooks.co.za" rel="nofollow">Colleen</a>
    Colleen
    November 28th, 2013 @07:07 #
     
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    Congratulations Penny!

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  • Maire
    Maire
    November 28th, 2013 @07:48 #
     
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    Fantastic news! Brava, Penny!

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  • <a href="http://henriettaroseinnes.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Henrietta</a>
    Henrietta
    November 29th, 2013 @11:52 #
     
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    Great news, Penny! Congratulations!

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