July 1-15, 2004 Edition AWARDS Foreign Prizes
Awarded for Best
Aussie, Irish Novels
NEW YORK, NY/06/24/04Australian and Irish novelists were honored this month with two separate literary citations. Shirley Hazzard won Australia’s most prestigious literary prize, the Miles Franklin Award (valued at A$42,000 or US$29,000), for The Great Fire, her first novel in more than 20 years. Ben Jelloun won the 100,000 euro (£65,700) International Impac Dublin Literary Award 2004, for his novel This Blinding Absence of Light, biggest award for a single English-language work of fiction.
Hazzard, a native of Australia and now an American citizen living in New York City, was unable to attend the Australian ceremony, but gave a videotaped address. Farrar, Straus & Giroux published the hardcover edition in the US, and Picador USA was scheduled to release the paperback version of The Great Fire this month.
Jelloun’s fact-based novel, about an underground prison in the deserts of Morocco, was chosen from an international shortlist of 10 works.
Ben Jelloun was born in 1944 in Fez, Morocco and emigrated to France in 1961. His novel has been called a masterpiece for its beauty and clarity of language. The author will share the 100,000 euro prize money with publisher Coverdale. Jelloun receives 75,000 euros and Coverdale, 25,000 euros.