Rebbieħ tal-Premju Unjoni Ewropea għal-Letteratura
Rebbieħ tal-Premju Nazzjonali tal-Ktieb
Hemm spazji u rkejjen li għalkemm kulħadd jaf bihom, l-istorja tagħhom ma jafha kważi ħadd. Xi stejjer minn dawn qegħdin jintradmu għal dejjem fost tħaffir, torrijiet u żviluppi ġodda li m’għandhom xejn x’jaqsmu ma’ passat li jgħid ħafna stejjer. Stejjer tiegħek, tagħha u tiegħi u ta’ eluf oħra li ġew qabel u li għad iridu jiġu wara.
Id-dar tal-larinġ għaddiet minn erba’ ġenerazzjonijiet. Issa? Sfrundawha. Minflokha kantun flettijiet. U lil Rożi? Minn ħajja trankwilla f’dar viċin ix-xatt, tefgħuha thewden fuq sodda li ma kinitx tagħha. U min qatt seta’ jobsor li anke f’xifer irdum dwejjaq, għafet tinbet ħbiberija?
Dawn huma stejjer li jfittxu t-tama fost it-trab, il-kalma fost it-tkissir, u ċ-ċans ta’ bidla fost kruha li taqtagħlek nifsek.
Lara Calleja is from Marsascala. The sea there - and the village that is now a tad overdeveloped - form part of many of her life stories. Writing is Lara’s way of compromising with the world around her, a world that isn’t always kind. She loves open spaces, not only the sea but even wide swathes of fields. Her activism is, she feels, her modest contribution to assuage her conscience on things she believes could and should be better.
Her ambitions are to help foster a larger sense of community in a world that has become way too individualistic. And, possibly, to have a small field and couple of rooms there. And who knows what other dreams, expected and not, life may bring about. Meanwhile, she’s won the European Union Prize for Literature - the first Maltese woman to win the coveted award!
“What Calleja does, with Kissirtu Kullimkien, is weave real-life stories into a poignant fiction, imbuing Malta’s penchant for turning open spaces into ‘fletsijiet’ with the human pathos it so desperately needed.
There are no sermons, no exhortations from atop some high horse. At no point do we feel that the author is trying to make up our mind for us with Kissirtu Kullimkien.
Kissirtu Kullimkien is very sobering reading, subtly painting a picture of an island gone made with greed and of where that is taking us. More than an indictement, it is the equivalent of a Ghost of Christmas Present that is fast racing to a definitely grim Future, unless the people put their foot down now.This book is a very good start in making that first step.”
— Reċensjoni minn Ramona Depares, fuq ramonadepares.com: A poignant collection of stories highlighting Malta’s construction plague