Fine Balance deutschDoes winning an international prize count as abroad? The Neustadt prize “was  established in 1969 as the Books Abroad International Prize for Literature, then renamed the Books Abroad / Neustadt Prize before assuming its present name in 1976, The Neustadt International Prize for Literature. It is the first international literary award of this scope to originate in the United States and is one of the very few international prizes for which poets, novelists, and playwrights are equally eligible.” But I guess their use of “abroad” means outside of the United States.
Let’s look at it from a news perspective, as in: how did I miss this interesting piece of news? Not so new news. In 2012 Rohinton Mistry was awarded the Neustadt International Prize for Literature. And what is really interesting about this is that while looking for a recent photo of the author of A Fine Balance, I came across several newspapers putting that very book on this summer’s reading list. It is a great read, but hardly a new book, having come out in 1996.
Winning the prize is not a passive event. Click here for the video about the 2012 Neustadt Festival of International Literature and Culture, which celebrated 2012 Neustadt Prize laureate Rohinton Mistry through music, drama,, and a keynote talk with Mistry.
Mistry’s A Fine Balance is #71 of 100 books listed in the July 5/12 Entertainment Weekly, and selected by Kate Chisholm in The Spectator‘s summer reading list at the end of June. His name also comes up in the news because he is one of many Canadian authors who have signed a letter condemning the eviction of hundreds of Palestinians from their villages in the hills of South Hebron for Israeli settlements.

Posted by Debra Martens

author, editor