The Crime Writers' Association named U.S. author Michael Connelly this year's recipient of its highest honor, the CWA Diamond Dagger, which recognizes authors whose careers have been marked by sustained excellence; and who have "made a significant contribution to crime writing published in the English language, whether originally or in translation." He will be honored during the CWA's Dagger Awards ceremony in London on October 25. Previous winners of the CWA Diamond Dagger include P.D. James, John Le Carré, Dick Francis, Ruth Rendell, Lee Child, Ann Cleeves and Ian Rankin.
CWA chair Martin Edwards said Connelly’s novels "have won international acclaim for more than a quarter century, and have given readers, television viewers, and film fans rich entertainment. A combination of wonderful characters, vivid settings, and gripping storylines characterises his work. The CWA is delighted to celebrate his achievements with the award of the Diamond Dagger."
Connelly commented: "How can a writer who writes about a guy trying make sense of things in Los Angeles ever expect to receive recognition from such a fine group from so far away? It's beyond anything I could have imagined, and I am very honored and humbled."
The shortlist for the inaugural Aspen Words Literary Prize, a $35,000 award for a work of fiction with social impact, is:
What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky by Lesley Nneka Arimah
What We Lose by Zinzi Clemmons
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
Mad Country by Samrat Upadhyay
Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
Winners will be announced on April 10 in New York City at a ceremony where all the finalists will participate in a panel.