This Saturday, at the Women's Fiction Festival in Matera, Italy, I was honored to be the recipient of the Baccante award for best fiction of 2009 for The Lace Reader. Below is, word for word, a description of the Baccante award. The award is pictured above. It is a beautiful necklace which was crafted by a wonderful Italian designer whom I had the priviledge to meet. My thanks to The Woman's Fiction Festival. If you write, you should really consider attending next year. Matera is amazing (more on that in future posts), and the women are all talented and welcoming. You can learn more about the festival here.
Here is their description of the Baccante Award:
The Bacchantes killed Orpheus and dismembered his body. They bring chaos and destruction and are controversial figures in Greek Mythology. They are priestesses of Dionysius, bound by the rites of the mysteries and by knowledge of the occult. They are at times cruel, embodying the dark side of the human psyche, instincts, the very principle which, when released by frenzy and possession, gives rise to song, to music and dance, to every type of artistic expression.
Indeed, it is precisely because of their disturbing and ambiguous position, in a poetic overturning of values, that we chose this figure as the very symbol of the precious and all-important role of women in culture.
The Bacchantes were custodians of knowledge and of the secrets of nature. The shape of the necklace, in fact, reproduces the shape of a mirror, the symbol of knowledge.