THE tale of a Scotsman and his family trying to grow oranges in Majorca is proving a huge success in the United States.
Author Peter Kerr's “Snowball Oranges,” the first of two books he wrote about his experiences on the island, has just been awarded the bronze medal in the travel category at the Book Expo America 2003 in Los Angeles, out of 100'000 books published annually in the States. “That's not bad going,” said Peter Kerr yesterday.
The hardback edition of “Snowball Oranges” has been out in the United States for a year with the paperback version about to be published “so the timing of the award couldn't have been better,” Kerr says. The second part of the family's orange growing experiences, “Mañana, Mañana,” is to be published in hardback at the same time: “all good flag-waving stuff for Majorca.” Kerr said. “Snowball Oranges” was nominated for competition at the Los Angeles book fair by a jury of booksellers, librarians, reviewers and other industry professionals selected to pick a shortlist of finalists in each genre published in the United States in any given year, the chosen books based on orginality or the narrative, the value the boos adds to its genre and its ability to entertain readers. The prestigious American Book of the Year Awards, announced at the Book Expo last Friday, are organised by the United States' leading literary review magazine Foreword, and were established to recognise the literary achievements of authors in a wide range of categories. “Given the competition that exists in a country as big as the USA, the value of the book simply being nominated was considerable,” Kerr said. “Having the book shortlisted for such an important American award came as a surprise to compare with having its sequel “Mañana, Mañana” shortlisted for Britain's WH Smith Book of the Year Awards last year. “We were ultimately pipped at the post for the latter, but the thrill of winning bronze in the US is immense. “It's also great to know that my books about Majorca are receiving such wide recognition,” Kerr said.