The National Book Prize 2017 for books published in 2016 will be celebrated this week on Thursday 7 December at Auberge de Castille. Out of a total of 35 shortlisted books in six categories, excluding the drama category in which none of the entries were shortlisted, the winners in each category will be announced and invited, along with the publisher of the winning book, to collect the award. The event will be held under the patronage of the Prime Minister.
The Prize, whose history dates back to 1971, comprises seven categories but it also includes special awards as recognition of an author’s literary contribution, such as the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award and the Best Emergent Author Award. The Terramaxka Prize, whose award ceremony was celebrated in a closed event at the Mediterranean Conference Centre on Tuesday 7 November, awards books for children and young adults, whereas the National Book Prize is more adult-oriented with its categories of novels, short stories, poetry, drama, translation, biographical and historiographical research, and general research.
Almost all the categories were well represented in the shortlist this year, particularly the novels category and the two research categories. Among the relatively new authors in the shortlist, we find Jean Paul Borg with his collection of short stories Mhux Nies and Lara Calleja with her novel Lucy Min? The complete shortlist of the Prize was released earlier this year in August and members of the public are urged to peruse this list as a reliable indicator of the highest quality literature published in 2016. It is also interesting to note that this year’s shortlist for the novels category carries a record number of books written by women with 3 out of the 6 contenders being women.
The results will be made public immediately after the ceremony on Thursday 7 December with a press release that will be published on the NBC website, FB and in the press.