Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Semana Negra Awards including the 'other' Hammett Prize

A second Hammett Award:  AEIP awarded the Hammett prize during Semana Negra in Gijon, Spain this past weekend. I'm a member of IACW (AEIP-IACW), and I was lucky enough to attend Semana Negra one year. It's like a big carnival with rides and amusements and food--but it is also  a huge bookfair with speakers, lectures, and talks with international crime writers.  
  • According to Reuters, the top award of the festival for Best Crime novel written in Spanish, the Hammett Prize - named after U.S. author Dashiel Hammett - went to Argentine novelist Guillermo Orsi, for his book "La Ciudad Santa" (The Holy City). Orsi's book tells of a cruise ship which runs aground in the wide but shallow River Plate, forcing the wealthy passengers to disembark in Buenos Aires, who then become bait for kidnappers. "A city which, like many another megalopolis, but above all in South America, is riddled with corruption and violence, makes the perfect setting for a crime writer," Orsi said of the Argentine capital, where he lives.

  •  Javier Sinay who the Rodolfo Walsh prize for non-fiction for Sangre Joven (Young Blood), although that book is not available outside his native Argentina. Sinay's book is a compilation of six true stories of violent deaths in Argentina between 2002 and 2008 where the victims and perpetrators were just coming of age in the chaos of Buenos Aires, a city of 15 million people.

  • The Silverio Canada prize for best first novel written in Spanish went to Spaniard Gregorio Casamayor for "La Sopa de Dios" (God Soup), while Cuba's Alejandro Hernandez won the Espartaco (Spartacus) Prize for best historical novel with "Oro Ciego" (Blind Gold).

  • Spain's Juan Miguel Aguilera received the Celsius 232 Prize for best science fiction novel in Spanish for his book "La Red de Indra" (The Indra Network).
Semana Negra is now in its 23rd year and over its 10 days attracts about a million visitors. Semana Negra is organized by Paco Ignacio Taibo II. 

Hat Tip: The Rap Sheet

The Asociación Internacional de Escritores Policiacos (or International Association of Crime Writers) was founded in 1986 by Paco Ignacio Taibo II of Mexico and the late Julian Semionov of the then U.S.S.R.

The goals of the organization are enumerated in our world-wide constitution, which has been amended several times over the decades. Originally, the primary goal of our members was to fight censorship (indeed, even imprisonment and torture) of writers in the right-wing dictatorships of Latin America and the left-wing ones of Eastern Europe.

As more countries in both regions democratized, however, the primary goal of AIEP has become to encourage crime writing as a genre and especially, through the efforts of the North American branch, to facilitate translations of works from other languages into English toward possible publication in the United States.

The world-wide organization, with nearly 1,000 members in 22 branch countries, is usually known by its Spanish acronym of AIEP.


Priscilla said...

Fascinating! Must look these authors up to see if any are in translation. If not, I hope some publisher is working on this. We mystery readers are hungry for "new blood"...

Janet Rudolph said...

Not in translation yet, but an earlier novel by Guillermo Orsi was released in the UK this past Spring:

Here's more info at Eurocrime: