Berlin, 4 October 2003
For the first time ever, a jury of internationally-recognized authors awarded a prize for the best literary reportage text world-wide, on October 4, 2003 in Berlin (press releases here).
The project, initiated by the cultural magazine Lettre International in connection with the Aventis Foundation and in partnership with the Goethe Institute, offers financial prizes amounting to a total of € 100 000. The prize will be awarded annually as of 2003.
The prizes for 2003 were received by the following authors:
1. Anna Politkovskaja: Tchétchénie: le déshonneur russe, Buchet/Chastel, Paris, 2003. Russian/French. Prize: 50,000 Euro
2. Nuruddin Farah: Yesterday Tomorrow: Voices from the Somali Diaspora, Continuum International, London, New York, 2000. English. Prize: 30,000 Euro
3. Jiang Hao: Revealing the Secrets of Poachers, Qunzhong chubanshe, Beijing, 2000. Chinese. Prize: 20,000 Euro
The winners of the awards were announced at a ceremony on Saturday, October 4, in the presence of 450 guests from the domains of literature, culture and politics, in the Berlin "Tipi" tent. The guest speaker at the awards gala was Polish reportage author Ryszard Kapuscinski; the South African author Breyten Breytenbach acted as master of ceremonies for the evening.
The winner of the first prize, Anna Politkovskaja, also received the Lettre Ulysses Award for the Art of Reportage, a sculpture designed by the Berlin artist Jakob Mattner. The evening was rounded off with a musical highlight, a concert by the Portuguese Fado singer Misia.
The finalists Ian Buruma, Nuruddin Farah, Jiang Hao, Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, Anna Politovskaya, Linda Polman, Mark Tully and Gillian Wright all attended the ceremony.
Information about the jury and the finalists is provided at the menu "2003". Descriptions of the idea and the concept behind the award can be found under the menu about.
All press releases, photos, and images of book-covers are to be found for download at the menu News. A press conference will take place on Sunday, October 5, 11.30 a.m. at Literaturhaus Berlin, Fasanenstr. 23, Berlin-Charlottenburg. There, it will be possible to speak with the award winners, the members of the jury and the initiators and organizers of the Lettre Ulysses Award.
Lettre International has published extracts of the books of the seven finalists in its issue LI 62.