Recognised as finest literary reportage published in Polish, Ed Vulliamy's Amexica: War Along the Borderline wins the Ryszard Kapuściński Award
Recognised as finest literary reportage published in Polish in 2012, Ed Vulliamy's Amexica: War Along the Borderline wins the Ryszard Kapuściński Award
"Never one to hide his own views," as Hugh O'Shaughnessy wrote in a piece for the Guardian, in Amexica Vulliamy reveals the shocking story of the ongoing Drug War on the U.S. – Mexican frontier, providing "the most vivid book so far published in English on the bloody calamity", in the reviewer's view.
A war that has claimed 24,000 lives since 2006, the border action described in Amexica is a separate realm of terror, madness and violence. The author engages in his work to the point of risking his own life.
A writer for the Guardian and the Observer, Ed Vulliamy (born 1954) is a British journalist and reporter who has been a foreign correspondent in Bosnia, the U.S. and Iraq. He reported on concentration camps in the Balkans in 1992. He was the first journalist in history to testify at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in 1996, and in 2011 testified in a lawsuit against Radovan Karadžić in the Hague. Vulliamy is a laureate of awards including the James Cameron Award and Amnesty International Media Award and has received the International Reporter of the Year Award twice. Amexica was translated into Polish by Janusz Ochab.
Culture.pl presents the four other books shortlisted for the Ryszard Kapuscinski Award for Literary Reportage 2013:
William Dalrymple - Nine Lives: in Search of the Sacred in Modern India (2009)
A reflection about the essence of religious identity and the upkeep of tradition in a rapidly changing environment. The book is divided into nine chapters presenting the paths of nine Indians, among others a Buddhist monk, a Jain nun, a lady from a middle-class family in Calcutta, a prison warden from Kerala, an illiterate goatherd from Rajasthan, and a devadasi, a girl married to a deity. The book was translated into Polish by Saba Litwińska.
William Dalrymple (born 1965) is a Scottish writer, historian and literary critic. Nine Lives: in Search of the Sacred in Modern India has previously received the literary award of the British Asian Society and was nominated to the Samuel Johnson Award. For his other works, he has received the Thomas Cook Award for his City of Djinns: a Year in Delhi (1994), the Prix de l'Astrolabe for The Age of Kali (1998), the Wolfson Award and the title of Best Scottish Book of the Year for White Mughals: Love and Betrayal in Eighteenth-Century India (2001), and the Duff Cooper Award for The Last Mughal: The Fall of a Dynasty: Delhi, 1857 (2006).
Wojciech Jagielski - Burning Grass (2012)
Burning Grass describes the town of Ventersdorp in the Republic of South Africa and its inhabitants, who still feel the looming presence of the murdered local politician Eugene Terre'Blanche. The story is written in an original style and shows the social processes occurring in that country after the abolition of apartheid.
Wojciech Jagielski (born 1960) is a prose writer, journalist and international correspondent for the newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza for over two decades. He is also a correspondent for the BBC and Le Monde, best known for his reportage from Central Asia, the Caucasus and Africa. He has received the Joseph Tischner Award (2003) and nominations to the Nike literary prize in Poland in 2003 and 2010. He has published four books: A Good Place to Die (1994, with an introduction by Ryszard Kapuściński), Praying for Rain (2002), Towers of Stone (2004) and Night Wanderers (2009). Culture.pl presents an interview with Jagielski on Burning Grass.
Lidia Ostałowska - It Hurts Even More
A collection of 12 reports on Poland from 1991 to 2005 published in Gazeta Wyborcza, creating an honest image of Poland. From the confession of unemployed people who used to work at State Agricultural Farms and women facing difficult issues connected with abortion, to musicians members of the legendary hip-hop formation Paktofonika.
One of Poland's most recognised reports, Lidia Ostałowska was nominated for the Kapuścisńki Award last year for her Watercolours (2011). A graduate of Polish studies at the University of Warsaw, she writes about minorities, women, subcultures, teenagers and the marganalised. She published A Gypsy Is a Gypsy, her first book, in 2000.
Mariusz Zawadzki - Brave New Iraq
A commentary on how two Western empires, the U.K. and the U.S., created Iraq and have continued to interfere in its affairs in the 21st century.
Mariusz Zawadzki (born 1970) has been based in the U.S. since 2010 as foreign correspondent for Gazeta Wyborcza. Previously he reported from the Middle East.
The annual Kapuściński Award was presented at a gala event at Warsaw's Teatr Polski / Polish Theatre. All five finalists take part in the Day of the Report event at the Warsaw Book Fair at the National Stadium on the 18th of May.
Awarded for the fourth time, the Ryszard Kapuściński Award honours the legacy of the prominent journalist, war reporter and poet, the second most translated Polish author. The winner in 2012 was Liao Yiwu, the Chinese author, reporter, musician and poet imprisoned several times for exposing the dark side of the Communist Party in his book The Corpse Walkers: Real Life Stories, China from the Bottom Up. The award was given to Svetlana Alexievich in 2011 for her stories about women soldiers who fought during the Second World War, The War's Unwomanly Face. In 2010 the winner was French journalist and war reporter Jean Hatzfeld for the report on Rwanda, The Antelope Strategy.
For more information on the award see: Ryszard Kapuściński Award for Literary Reportage
Sources: based on the original Polish article by Mikolaj Glinski, translated by MJ, additional sources: The Guardian, Ryszard Kapuscinski award website, goodreads