Controversial writer Alex Vella Gera has won second prize in the Malta Book Awards section for Literary Prose: Novels and Short Stories in Maltese with Żewġ.
The awards were handed out late yesterday by Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi but Mr Vella Gera boycotted the ceremony.
He is currently facing criminal charges over a sexually explicit short story Li Tkisser Sewwi, which appeared in the University newspaper Ir-Realtà.
In a letter circulated to the media yesterday, Mr Vella Gera said he was not comfortable in the presence of the Prime Minister who, as PN leader, set the television station’s media policy
The National Book Prize is the most prestigious literary prize in Malta. It is organised by the National Book Council.
Each year, through the National Book Council, the Ministry of Education, Employment and the Family, gives €23,000 in prizes to local authors and publishers.
During the ceremony, the Prime Minister and Education Minister Dolores Cristina did not make reference to the ongoing controversy over censorship and the absence of certain books from libraries.
Ms Cristina spoke on developments in the media and the problems which publishers faced. She said the National Book Awards reflected the good will of those who chose to lift society from chronic apathy. Writers, she said, could not remain idle. They could not enamour with compromise. Writers and authors should be the voice of the nation. The publishers made their dreams come true.
The awards, she added, were a challenge for excellence over mediocrity. To publish a book was relatively easy, and the challenge, therefore, was for every book to be a burst of creativity, not just in what was written, but also in the manner of its publication, since readers always deserved the best.
Allied Publications, the book publishing arm of Allied Newspapers Ltd, won three prizes namely;
Il-politika tal-perswazjoni by Guido de Marco translated in Maltese by Charles Abela Mizzi, which won the first prize in the Special Prize for Translations category.
Il-qari tal-letteratura bejn esperjenza u kritika, edited by Terence Portelli won the first prize in the category for Textbooks in Maltese or foreign language and Exploring the Maltese media landscape, edited by Joseph Borg, Adrian Hillman and Mary Anne Lauri won the second prize in the General Research in Maltese or foreign language.
The awards for books published in 2009 were as follows:
Literary Prose: Novels and Short Stories in Maltese
Qed Nistennik Nieżla max-Xita, Pierre J. Mejlak, Merlin Library Ltd
45, Chris Gruppetta, Merlin Library Ltd
Żewġ, Alex Vella Gera (Self Published)
Prose Non Fiction
Panoramic Malta and Gozo, Daniel Cilia, Book Distributors Ltd
It-Tifel tan-Nanna, Ġorġ Peresso, Horizons
Prose Non Fiction: Textbooks
Il-Qari tal-Letteratura bejn Esperjenza u Kritika, Terence Portelli, Allied Publications
Poetry in Maltese
Weraq Sfajjar fix-Xagħri, Maurice Mifsud Bonnici
Id-Demm Nieżel bħax-Xita, Adrian Grima and Karl Schembri, Edizzjoni Skarta
Bliet, Norbert Bugeja, Edizzjonijiet Emma Delezio
Poetry in Another Language
Poesie, Poems, Poeżija, J.J. Cremona, Klabb Kotba Maltin
Works of Biographical and Historical Research in Maltese or in Another Language
Jewellery in Malta, Francesca Balzan, Fondazzjoni Patrimonju Malti and Midsea Books
Baroque Painting in Malta, Keith Sciberras, Midsea Books
General Research in Maltese and English
Edmund Teuma, Dan hu l-Islam, Taħriġ ta’ Tifsir, ĊAK
Exploring the Maltese Media Landscape, Joseph Borg, Mary Ann Lauri and Adrian Hillman, Allied Publications
Drama in Maltese
Ħitan bil-Moffa, Joseph Vella Bondin, Bronk Productions
Ippermettili Nitlaq, Alfred Buttigieg, Klabb Kotba Maltin
Prose for Children
Il-Każ Kważi kollu tal-Aħwa de Molizz, Clare Azzopardi, Merlin Library Ltd
Ir-Re Pankrazju jagħlaq Mitt Sena, Clare Azzopardi, Merlin Library Ltd
Id-Dar fi Sqaq il-Forka, Ivan de Battista, Klabb Kotba Maltin
Prose for Adolscents
Il-Ġnien tad-Dmugħ, Simon Bartolo and Loranne Vella, Merlin Library Ltd
L-Aħħar Ġranet ta’ Ciorni u Stejjer Oħra, Mario Azzopardi, Merlin Library Ltd
Poetry and Drama for Children and Adolescents
Paroli, Trevor Żahra, Malta Union of Teachers
Translations and Books in Another languages for Children and Adolescents
Don’t Cross the Road, Holly/Taqsamx it-Triq, Fuxa, Rita Antoinette Borg
Special Prize for Translations in Maltese or in another language
Il-Politika tal-Persważjoni, Charles Abela Mizzi, Allied Publications
Best Illustrator for Children’s Works
Best Production in Maltese
Michael Schiavone/Outlook Coop Inservi, PIN
Best Production in Another Language
Joseph Mizzi, Baroque Paintings in Malta, Midsea Books
Special Lifetime Achievement prize for a person who has contributed greatly in the fields of Literature and Publication
Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.Support Us