Annal: 2000 Kiriyama Prize for Fiction

Results of the Kiriyama Prize in the year 2000.

Book:Anil's Ghost

Anil's Ghost: A Novel

Michael Ondaatje

The time is our own time. The place is Sri Lanka, the island nation formerly known as Ceylon, off the southern tip of India, a country steeped in centuries of cultural achievement and tradition—and forced into the late twentieth century by the ravages of civil war and the consequences of a country divided against itself.

Into this maelstrom steps a young woman, Anil Tissera, born in Sri Lanka, educated in England and America, a forensic anthropologist sent by an international human rights group to work with local officials to discover the source of the organized campaigns of murder engulfing the island.

Bodies are discovered. Skeletons. And particularly one, nicknamed ‘Sailor.’ What follows is a story about love, about family, about identity, about the unknown enemy, about the quest to unlock the hidden past—all propelled by a riveting mystery.

Unfolding against the deeply evocative background of Sri Lanka’s landscape and ancient civilization, Anil’s Ghost is a literary spellbinder—the most powerful novel we have yet had from Michael Ondaatje.

Book:The Australian Fiancé

The Australian Fiancé: A novel about desire, flight and the aftermath of war

Simone Lazaroo

Book:The Hero's Walk

The Hero's Walk

Anita Rau Badami

In a small town by the Bay of Bengal in India, Sripathi Rao, a headstrong man and disenchanted copywriter, lives in his crumbling ancestral home, uncomfortably aware of the encroaching modern world. Then, early one morning, Sripathi is awakened by a call from Canada: his long-estranged daughter and her husband have been killed in a car accident. Their surviving seven-year-old child, Nandana, is about to become his reluctant ward. Yet Nandana has never met her grandfather, has never been to India, and hasn’t spoken a word since the tragedy.

With The Hero’s Walk, Anita Rau Badami ushers us into the colorful lives of the Rao family: Nirmala, Sripathi’s frustrated but dutiful wife; Ammayya, his miserly and eccentric mother; his sister, Putti, unmarried and in her forties, still dreaming of love; and Arun, his only son, an unemployed environmental crusader. When Sripathi brings Nandana to India, life suddenly…[more]

Book:The Toughest Indian in the World

The Toughest Indian in the World

Sherman Alexie

In these stories we meet the kind of American Indians we rarely see in literature—the upper and middle class, the professionals and white-collar workers, the bureaucrats and poets, falling in and out of love and wondering if they will make their way home. A Spokane Indian journalist transplanted from the reservation to the city picks up a hitchhiker, a Lummi boxer looking to take on the toughest Indian in the world. A Spokane son waits for his diabetic father to return from the hospital, listening to his father’s friends argue about Jesus’ carpentry skills as they build a wheelchair ramp. An estranged interracial couple, separated in the midst of a traffic accident, rediscover their love for each other. A white drifter holds up an International House of Pancakes, demanding a dollar per customer and someone to love, and emerges with $42 and an overweight Indian he dubs Salmon Boy.

Sherman Alexie’s is a voice of remarkable passion, and these stories are love stories—between parents and children, white people and Indians, movie stars and ordinary people. Witty, tender, and fierce, The Toughest Indian in the World is a virtuoso performance by one of the country’s finest writers.

Book:The Years with Laura Díaz

The Years with Laura Díaz: A Novel

Carlos Fuentes, Alfred MacAdam

In this radiant hope-filled new novel, Carlos Fuentes gives us a richly painted portrait of the twentieth century as seen through the eyes of Laura Díaz—a woman who becomes as much a part of our history as of the Mexican history she observes and helps to create. Filled with brilliantly colored scenes and heartbreaking dramas, the epic story of The Years with Laura Díaz is also a novel of subtle and penetrating psychological insight.

As in Fuentes’s masterpiece The Death of Artemio Cruz, the action begins in the state of Veracruz and then moves to Mexico City, tracing a migration during the Revolution and, its aftermath that is an important element in Laura Díaz’s life as well as in Mexico’s history. This extraordinary young woman, born in 1898, grows into a devoted wife and mother, becomes the lover of great men , and, before her death in 1972, is celebrated as a politically committed artist on whom none of the poignant…[more]

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