Crime fiction authors, among others, have claimed that the genre is looked down on by readers of "literature". Despite the honours earned by such luminaries as Ruth Rendell, P.D.James, and the uncrowned King of Scotland Ian Rankin we somehow feel recognition of crime fiction as real literature is still not fully accepted.
I had never heard of the Bancarella Prize [Premio Bancarella] which is awarded in the small Italian town of Pontremoli at the end of July. I first read about it in the blurb for Reasonable Doubts, and learned that the original winner was Ernest Hemingway, and that Gianrico Carofiglio had won it in 2005.
In a review of Reasonable Doubts by Publisher's Weekly Gianrico Carofiglio was almost designated an Italian John Grisham or Michael Connelly.
Interestingly Grisham in 1994 and Connelly in 2000 have also won the Bancarella, but it was some of the other winners names that caught my attention.
Boris Pasternak 1958, Isaac Bashevis Singer 1968, Oriana Fallaci 1970, Alex Haley 1998 and the aforementioned Ernest Hemingway in 1953.
This is surely recognition that great authors are great authors, whatever the genre.
Ah yes, and the winner in 2001 was Andrea Camilleri!
Winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature:
1954 Ernest Hemingway
1958 Boris Pasternak
1978 Isaac Bashevis Singer