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Canadian Writers Rule in the 2011 Commonwealth Writers' Prize

13/02/2011 22:04

Canada has produced the highest number of writers, in the much-awaited shortlist for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, supported by the Macquarie Group Foundation, which is now in its 25th year. The shortlist comprises of works written by notable writers, as well as up-and-coming writers, for the Best Book and Best First Book awards in four regions. 


The shortlisted works and the authors, include:


Africa Best Book:

  • The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna (Sierra Leone)
  • Men of the South by Zukiswa Wanner (South Africa)
  • The Unseen Leopard by Bridget Pitt (South Africa)
  • Oil on Water by Helon Habila (Nigeria)
  • Blood at Bay by Sue Rabie (South Africa)
  • Banquet at Brabazan by Patricia Schonstein (South Africa)


Africa Best First Book:

  • Happiness is a Four Letter Word by Cynthia Jele (South Africa)
  • Bitter Leaf by Chioma Okereke (Nigeria)
  • The Fossil Artist by Graeme Friedman (South Africa)
  • Colour Blind by Uzoma Uponi (Nigeria)
  • Voice of America by E. C. Osondu (Nigeria)
  • Wall of Days by Alastair Bruce (South Africa)


Canada and Caribbean Best Book:

  • The Sky is Falling by Caroline Adderson (Canada)
  • Room by Emma Donahue (Canada)
  • The Master of Happy Endings by Jack Hodgins (Canada)
  • In The Fabled East by Adam Lewis Schroeder (Canada)
  • The Death of Donna Whalen by Michael Winter (Canada)
  • Mr. Shakespeare’s Bastard by Richard B. Wright (Canada)


Canada and Caribbean Best First Book:

  • Bird Eat Bird by Katrina Best (Canada)
  • Doing Dangerously Well by Carole Enahoro (Canada)
  • Mennonites Don’t Dance by Darcie Friesen Hossack (Canada)
  • Light Lifting by Alexander MacLeod (Canada)
  • The Cake is for the Party by Sarah Selecky (Canada)
  • Illustrado by Miguel Syjuco (Canada)


South Asia and Europe Best Book:

  • Lyrics Alley by Leila Abouleila (UK)
  • The Betrayal by Helen Dunmore (UK)
  • The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell (UK)
  • The Long Song by Andrea Levy (UK)
  • Sex and Stravinsky by Barbara Trapido (UK)
  • Union Atlantic by Adam Haslett (UK)


South Asia and Europe Best First Book:

  • Serious Men by Manu Joseph (India)
  • Saraswati Park by Anjali Joseph (India)
  • The House with the Blue Shutters by Lisa Hilton (UK)
  • Children of the Sun by Max Shaefer (UK)
  • Grace Williams says it Loud by Emma Henderson (UK)
  • Sabra Zoo by Mischa Hiller (UK)


South East Asia and Pacific Best Book:

  • Reading Madame Bovary by Amanda Lohrey (Australia)
  • That Deadman Dance by Kim Scott (Australia)
  • Time’s Long Ruin by Stephen Orr (Australia)
  • Hand Me Down World by Lloyd Jones (New Zealand)
  • Notorious by Roberta Lowing (Australia)
  • Gifted by Patrick Evans (New Zealand)


South East Asia and Pacific Best First Book:

  • 21 Immortals by Rozlan Mohd Noor (Malaysia)
  • A Man Melting by Craig Cliff (New Zealand)
  • The Graphologist’s Apprentice by Whiti Hereaka (New Zealand)
  • The Body in the Clouds by Ashley Hay (Australia)
  • Traitor by Stephen Daisley (Australia/New Zealand)
  • A Few Right Thinking Men by Sulari Gentill (Australia)


The regional winners of the Best Book and Best First Book prizes will be announced on the 3rd March, with the final programme commencing on the May 16, at Sydney Writers’ Festival in Australia. This will bring together the finalists from the four different regions of the Commonwealth, and the two overall winners will be announced on the May 21.



- Your Pal




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