Hierdie is die LitNet-argief (2006–2012)
This is the LitNet archive (2006–2012)
The M-Net awards are unique in that they invite entries from all the country’s indigenous languages. This year's shortlisted novels fall into four language categories, which were determined by the number of published works received. The categories are Nguni (isiZulu, isiXhosa, isiNdebele, SeSwati), Sotho (SeSotho, SePedi, SeTswana), Afrikaans and English.
In addition to the top novels in each language category, the panel of judges also identified novels that showed potential to be developed into a screenplay for the film category. All the novels which were submitted for the main awards were automatically considered for this award, with the exception of novels with existing, attached screen rights.
While many of the books in all the language categories displayed strong narratives which could be portrayed vividly on the big screen, the universal appeal of these stories, the practicality of the adaptation, as well as the potential buzz and box office success, played a significant role in the final selection. The judges deliberated passionately about the filmic merit of a long list of suitable candidates but in the end narrowed it down to one book from each of the language categories.
The prize money for each of the 2011 M-Net Literary Awards category winners was increased to R50 000 in cash (from R30 000). Here is the list of contenders in the different categories:English
Last Summer, Craig Higginson
Double Negative, Ivan Vladislavic
In a Strange Room, Damon Galgut
(Penguin Books SA)
Zoo City, Lauren Beukes
Afstande, Dan Sleigh (Tafelberg)
Die benederyk, Ingrid Winterbach (Human & Rousseau)
Dwaalpoort, Alexander Strachan (Tafelberg)
Marike se laaste dans, Deborah Steinmair (Human & Rousseau)
(English translation of the title in brackets)
Guga Mzimba (Young at heart) Khethiwe Agrineth Mkhize (Maskew Miller Longman) isiZulu
Inkululeko Isentabeni (Freedom is a struggle) Ncedile Saule (Hibbard Publishers) isiXhosa
Ityeleba (Wild water mint - “a sweet-smelling traditional herb”) Siphatheleni Kula (Hibbard Publishers) isiXhosa
The judges all agreed that this year's entries showcased thematic and formal diversity and applauded many of the authors' pluck in weaving multi-dimensional narratives or exploring tricky cultural issues which have not been dealt with in our literary world before. At the same time, the rift separating the great entries from the mediocre ones, raised important questions about the wisdom of publishing unfinished or unpolished works.
Both the Sotho and Nguni language judges were impressed by the imaginative, fresh and bold handling of language by the shortlisted writers. They also praised the ways the readers were engaged by means of humour, anecdotes and cultural references.
In the English category, the judges noted that South African crime fiction has risen in stature and literary excellence and that the scope of narrative voices broadened to an exciting array of perspectives on the world we live in. Yet, the veteran authors continued to wield the tools of their craft in the most creative ways and therefore dominated this category.
The Afrikaans category boomed with a variety of entries in different genres – from chick lit to crime stories and historical novels – penned by many established writers as well as new authors. A variety of themes were explored, but it was evident that the literary text was evolving to include the language of social media and the internet as well as the existential dilemmas of our information- and techno-crazy world.
The winners of the M-Net Literary Awards will be announced on Saturday, 18 June, at a gala event in Cape Town.