Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Hammett Prize Nominees

The North American Branch of the International Association of Crime Writers is pleased to announce nominees for their annual HAMMETT PRIZE for a work of literary excellence in the field of crime writing by a US or Canadian author. The nominees are as follows: John Brady, Islandbridge (McArthur & Company) Joseph Kanon, Alibi: A Novel (Henry Holt) Martin Limón, The Door to Bitterness (Soho Crime) Cormac McCarthy, No Country for Old Men (Knopf) Don Winslow, The Power of the Dog (Knopf) A reading committee of IACW/NA members selected the nominees, based on recommendations from other members and the publishing community. The committee was headed by J. Madison Davis and included William Bayer, Cara Black, Lorenzo Carcaterra, and Ann Romeo. The winner will be chosen by three distinguished outside judges: André Aciman, author of Out of Egypt (winner of the Whiting Writer’s Award) and most recently editor of The Proust Project; Karen Rothmyer, managing editor of The Nation; and Lynn Slotkin theatre reviewer for CBC Radio’s Here and Now and editor of The Slotkin Letter. The organization will name the HAMMETT PRIZE winner on June 10, during the Bloody Words mystery conference in Toronto. The winner will receive a bronze trophy, designed by sculptor Peter Boiger.

Monday, February 13, 2006


Lots of good news from Rudolfo Anaya. On February 26, The Tricentennial Matanza celebration honors Anaya at the Wine Festival Grounds in Bernalillo, New Mexico. The agenda for the day includes a traditional matanza menu, music and dancing, a cash bar, and the general good times of a New Mexican party. All proceeds (tickets are $10) benefit the Rudolfo Anaya Scholarship Fund, which supports "an Hispanic student enrolled in the MFA Creative Writing Program" at the University of New Mexico. This will be great time for a great cause. For more information, contact Sharon Ord Warner, Director of Creative Writing at UNM, swarner@unm.edu. The artwork above is Matanza by New Mexican artist Ray Martin Abeyta.

The best piece of news is that a collection of Rudolfo Anaya's short stories, representing thirty years of his writing, will be published by the University of Oklahoma Press in March. The title of the collection is The Man Who Could Fly And Other Stories. The press says: "Unlike his novels, which range broadly over the American tapestry, Anaya's short stories focus on character and ethical questions in a regional setting - from the harsh deserts of the American Southwest and northern Mexico to the lush tropical forests of Uxmal in the Yucatán. These tales demonstrate Anaya's singular attitude toward fiction: that stories create myths to live and love by." This sounds like one of those "must have" books. I note that this book is Volume 5 in the Chicana & Chicano Visions of the Américas series from University of Oklahoma Press. Now I have to find the other four volumes.

To top it all off, the University of New Mexico Press has published a new trade paperback edition of Anaya's initial dip into Chicano crime fiction, Alburquerque.This book won the PEN Center West Award for Fiction and marked the first appearance of Chicano private eye Sonny Baca.

So far, a pretty good year for the National Medal of Arts winner.