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| 5/15/2009 12:00:00 AM

Witness to war: Evelio Rosero on fiction that fights for the truth

May 15 -- Boyd Tonkin salutes the winners of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and Maya Jaggi meets Evelio Rosero

Across the history of modern literature, from the scarred towns and ravaged valleys of civil-war Spain and occupied France to the jungle villages of Vietnam and the bleak estates of northern Ireland, dirty wars have often bred the purest kind of fiction. Where random violence puts every value in jeopardy, and an end to all that matters can drop from a cloudless sky or burst in through a front door, the story of lives in peril can – in gifted hands – acquire a force, gravity and tenderness without parallel.

So it is with the novel that has won this year's Independent Foreign Fiction Prize: The Armies by Colombian writer Evelio Rosero, translated from the Spanish by Anne McLean and published by the MacLehose Press imprint of Quercus Books. As always, author and translator will share the award of £10,000 accompanying this prize, which is generously supported by Arts Council England and Champagne Taittinger. Judge Linda Grant pays her tribute to the winning novel below; we were joined on this year's panel by Kate Griffin, Fiona Sampson and and Mark Thwaite.
 
Read more here.
 
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