Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Cloak and Dagger

The British Crime Writers Association (CWA) have released the winners of their 2008 Dagger awards.

I like to kid myself that I keep reasonably up to date with crime writing, but a few recent findings have stripped me of my delusions. Firstly was the realisation I had never heard of the majority of the crime fiction and crime writers discussed on Detectives Without Borders. Secondly was this list of Daggers, and the Australian Ned Kelley Awards list which again featured writers and books I had never heard of.

Is this the curse of the small country? We have such a minute amount of writing imported, and this is chosen by a few. We see a tiny proportion of what's out there, and mostly either highly commercial or acclaimed literary fiction.

Is the internet the other curse? Ignorance was bliss, now I find myself just feeling ignorant, and lusting after titles I can't easily acquire. Perhaps it is a good thing, as my 'to read' bedside pile has reached critical mass and may soon collapse upon itself to form a small but deadly blackhole, sucking life and time into its maw...

And now for the daggers...

Duncan Lawrie Dagger:
For the best crime novel of the year, carrying a prize of £20,000 Frances Fyfield - Blood From Stone - Sphere (Little, Brown)

Duncan Lawrie International Dagger:
For the best crime novel translated into English, with £5000 going to the author and £1000 being split between the translators. Dominique Manotti - Lorraine Connection - EuroCrime (Arcadia Books), translated by Amanda Hopkinson and Ros Schwartz

The CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger:
The dagger and £2000 prize money are awarded for the best adventure/thriller novel in the vein of James Bond. Tom Rob Smith - Child 44 - Simon & Schuster

The CWA Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction
This award, for the best non-fiction book, is made biannually in even-numbered years. It carries a prize of £2000. Kester Aspden - Nationality: Wog - The Hounding of David Oluwale - Jonathan Cape (Random House)

The CWA New Blood Dagger:
Awarded in memory of CWA founder John Creasey, this dagger for first books by previously unpublished writers and carries a prize of £1000. Matt Rees - The Bethlehem Murders - Atlantic Books

The CWA Short Story Award:
The £1500 prize goes to the best crime short story first published in the UK in English.
Martin Edwards - THE BOOKBINDER’S APPRENTICE, first published in The Mammoth Book of Best British Mysteries edited by Maxim Jakubowski, and published by Constable Robinson Publishing.

The CWA Dagger in the Library:
This Dagger, worth £1500, is awarded to "the author of crime fiction whose work is currently giving the greatest enjoyment to readers"; authors are nominated by UK libraries and Readers' Groups and judged by a panel of librarians. Craig Russell

The Debut Dagger:
The Debut Dagger, is open to anyone who has not yet had a novel published commercially. The winner receives a £500 cash prize. Amer Anwar, Western Fringes.

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