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British author Lee Child receives the "prestigious" RBA Award for Crime Writing

On Thursday evening the British author who is responsible for the Jack Reacher series of crime novels, Lee Child, received in Barcelona the VIII RBA Award for Crime Writing for his latest book in the series, 'Personal'. Child could not attend the ceremony for personal reasons so his literary agent, Mary Darby, read out a statement from the British writer instead. "Thank you for this prestigious award, I feel greatly honoured and proud to accept it", he said. The judging panel, which selected Child's novel from 244 submitted manuscripts, highlighted "the original composition of an atypical action hero" in the book, which reveals much about the world of "intelligence services and criminal gangs". 

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05 September 2014 09:40 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- "Thank you for this prestigious award, I feel greatly honoured and proud to accept it". These words were read out in statement from renowned British author, Lee Child, after receiving the VIII RBA Award for Crime Writing on Thursday evening in Barcelona for his novel 'Personal'. The Spanish literary award is funded by the Barcelona-based publishing company RBA and is considered to be one of the most important prizes within the crime fiction genre. Child could not attend the ceremony for personal reasons so his literary agent, Mary Darby, read out a message from the British writer instead. The judging panel, which selected Child's novel from 244 submitted manuscripts, highlighted "the original composition of an atypical action hero" in the book which reveals much about the world of "intelligence services and criminal gangs".  'Personal' is the 19th book in the popular series of children's crime novels which feature the fictional character Jack Reacher, a former American military policeman who roams the United States investigating suspicious crimes.


In a statement that was read out at the award ceremony in Barcelona on Thursday evening, Child mentioned that he was especially grateful to be awarded the prize in Spain as the country played an important role in the creation of the Reacher books. The author said, "I was on vacation here for a week and when I came home to the UK I found I had lost my job. So I unpacked my suitcase, I sat down, and I began writing the first Reacher book. So it's true to say that the initial energy in that book, Killing Flor, came from the Spanish wine, the Spanish food, and the Spanish sunshine."

In a videoconference with journalists this morning, the author stated that it was an "honour" to have received the award and described the main character of his novel, Jack Reacher, as "the North American real life version of an old European traditional figure, the medieval knight". 

Lee Child is the pen name of Jim Grant, who entered the competition under the pseudonym Jack Reacher, the protagonist in his stories. During the videoconference, Child explained that the success of his novels in the United States can be put down to "the need of the human soul to feel protected in moments of blind terror and primitive fear". "I think somehow citizens need a knight protector, and Jack Reacher is just that" said Child. A fan of crime writers Raymond Chandler and Agatha Christie, the author stated that all the international intelligence agencies that appear in the Reacher novels are "real" and that he has first-hand experience of all of them.

The British author has sold nearly sixty million copies of his books worldwide and has received many prestigious awards, such as the Cartier Diamond Dagger, the Anthony Award, the Dylis Award and the Barry Award. He has lived in the United States since 1998 and was elected President of the organisation the Mystery Writers of America in 2009.

"A high literary quality"

The host of the event, the Spanish actress Aitana Sanchez-Gijon, stated that the response to the RBA Award for Crime Writing was "extraordinary". She explained that "more than 244 entries were submitted for the award, mostly from Spain and Latin America, but also from the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Taiwan, New Zealand and France." She stressed that, "the high literary quality of the works which were submitted for the prize is one of the major incentives for editors to maintain their commitment to the genre".

The judging panel for the award was made up of the Spanish writers Soledad Puértolas, Lorenzo Siliva, Antonio Lozano, Paco Camarasa and Joaquim Palau.

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  • Lee Child, the artistic name of Jim Grant (by Gordon Trice)

  • Lee Child, the artistic name of Jim Grant (by Gordon Trice)