Friday, April 03, 2009

“Dragon” Roars Again

It’s Friday night in London as I write this post, and I’ve just received the good news: Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, a novel I have been talking up ever since it debuted in the UK in January 2008, has been named the Books Direct Crime Thriller of the Year at the 2009 Galaxy British Book Awards ceremony. I’ve been sitting with bated breath all evening, anticipating a phone call from Lucy Ramsey, the publicity director at Quercus/MacLehose Press (which published Dragon Tattoo), knowing that the late Larsson’s first novel was facing tough competition for this “Nibbie” award from several Rap Sheet favorites:

The Business, by Martina Cole (Headline)
Child 44, by Tom Rob Smith (Simon & Schuster)
No Time for Goodbye, by Linwood Barclay (Orion)
Revelation, by C.J. Sansom (Macmillan)
When Will There Be Good News?, by Kate Atkinson (Black Swan)

But in the end, Dragon Tattoo walked away with the prize. When Ramsey told me, I yelled with joy--much to my wife’s amusement.

Larsson’s family had flown in from Sweden to attend the awards event in the British capital, and it’s impossible not to be happy for them. The author and crusading journalist died in 2004, but he left behind three novels--his “Millennium Trilogy,” which began with Dragon Tattoo, and this year added The Girl Who Played with Fire. (One more installment, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest [aka Castles in the Sky] is yet to debut with an English translation.) It must warm the hearts of his family for them to know that Stieg Larsson’s name and fame live on.

I’ll have more to say about Larsson’s win later. But for now, let me just note this evening’s other crime-related Nibbie winners. Tom Rob Smith picked up the Waterstone’s New Writer of the Year for Child 44, Kate Atkinson’s When Will There Be Good News? won the Richard & Judy Best Read Award, and Sebastian Faulks walked away with the Sainsbury’s Popular Fiction Award for his James Bond novel, Devil May Care (Penguin). For her true historical crime book, The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher (Bloomsbury), Kate Summerscale captured not only the Galaxy Book of the Year Award, but also the Play.com Popular Non-fiction Award.

Not related to crime or crime fiction, but certainly interesting as well: U.S. President Barack Obama won the Tesco Biography of the Year Award for his best-selling Dreams of My Father.

A full list of tonight’s winners in all categories can be found here.

7 comments:

"Reg" said...

You can believe we were whoopin' it up in Albuquerque when we checked the Galaxy web site at dinnertime. Stieg will be unstoppable for quite a few years, I think. Wish he were here!

Eva Gabrielsson said...

Sorry Ali, you are not the Karim, it´s one of Stieg´s and my friends.
Eva Gabrielsson, Stieg Larsson´s widow, Stockholm

Ali Karim said...

Hi Eva -

I didn't think it was as but it was, but it did make me smile! considering how much I like Stieg's work - good hearing from you

Ali

"Reg" said...

Dear Eva,

All best wishes from New Mexico from "Reg," the translator! I hope justice will eventually prevail.

Steve

Sarah Weinman said...

Eva - glad to see you commenting on this thread as well! If you check back, there are a few questions I'd like to ask off-blog, so please email me (sarah DOT weinman AT gmail DOT com) and thanks in advance!

Eva Gabrielsson said...

Thanks Reg, I´ll get back to you when I´ve had the time to read the English version. And allright Sarah, will do,

Eva

"Reg" said...

Kära Eva, Jag skulle också vilja dryfta ett par spörsmål utanför bloggen. Mht böckerna, kunde du tänka dig att läsa mina ursprungliga översättningarna i stället? Min mail är steventmurray AT gmail DOT com.