Thursday, April 26, 2012

Commonwealth Writers announces shortlists for 2012 prizes - 4 NZ writers make the short story list

Commonwealth Writers has announced shortlists for the 2012 Commonwealth Book Prize and Commonwealth Short Story Prize. Writers from around the world have been shortlisted for each prize in anticipation of becoming a regional winner on 22 May and ultimately competing for overall winner which will be announced at Hay Festival on 8 June.
Commonwealth Writers is a new cultural programme within the Commonwealth Foundation which develops, connects and inspires writers. By awarding prizes and running on-the-ground activities, it works in partnership with international literary organisations, the wider cultural industries and civil society to help writers develop their craft in the fifty four countries of the Commonwealth. is a forum where members from anywhere in the world can exchange ideas and contribute to debates.
A regional winner for each prize will be awarded in five regions: Africa, Asia, Canada and Europe, Caribbean, and the Pacific.
Commenting on the shortlisted entries, chair of the Commonwealth Book Prize, Margaret Busby said, “Being a prize for first novels, the judges were looking for potential and promise from the entries. We certainly found what we were hoping for with some consummately accomplished writing from some very interesting writers. Lively debate amongst the judges raised comments on wonderful language and confident characterisation and often challenged us to overcome our prejudice on what makes a novel.”
Chair of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize, Bernardine Evaristo said, “The high quality and variety of international stories on this shortlist is fantastic. To read them is to be immersed in a wide range of cultures and situations, and to be persuaded by superbly-crafted narrative voices, different ways of seeing and being, suspenseful dilemmas and intensely-rendered emotional experiences."
To mark the 25th anniversary of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize in 2011, the Commonwealth Foundation re-launched its prizes to form part of Commonwealth Writers. The prizes act as catalysts to target and identify talented writers from different regions who will go on to inspire and inform their local communities.


Commonwealth Book Prize
The Wandering Falcon, Jamil Ahmad (Pakistan), Hamish Hamilton
Patchwork, Ellen Banda-Aaku (Zambia), Penguin Books, South Africa
Rebirth: a novel, Jahnavi Barua (India), Penguin Books India
The Sly Company of People Who Care, Rahul Bhattacharya (India) Picador
The Ottoman Hotel, Christopher Currie (Australia), The Text Publishing Company
A Cupboard Full of Coats, Yvvette Edwards (UK), Oneworld Publications
The Book of Answers, CY Gopinath (India), HarperCollins India
Jubilee, Shelley Harris (South Africa), Weidenfeld & Nicolson
The Dancing and the Death on Lemon Street, Denis Hirson (UK), Jacana Media
The Vanishing Act, Mette Jakobsen (Australia), The Text Publishing Company
Chinaman: The Legend of Pradeep Mathew, Shehan Karunatilaka (Sri Lanka), Random House India
Purple Threads, Jeanine Leane (Australia), University of Queensland Press
Sweetheart, Alecia McKenzie (Jamaica), Peepal Tree Press
The Town that Drowned, Riel Nason (Canada), Goose Lane Editions
Dancing Lessons, Olive Senior (Canada), Cormorant Books
The Sentimentalists, Johanna Skibsrud (Canada), William Heinemann
The Dubious Salvation of Jack V, Jacques Strauss (South Africa), Jonathan Cape
Me and Mr Booker, Cory Taylor (Australia), The Text Publishing Company
Pao, Kerry Young (UK), Bloomsbury

Commonwealth Short Story Prize
Morrison Okoli (1955-2010), Jekwu Anyaegbuna (Nigeria)
Flight, Jayne Bauling(South Africa)
The Queen’s Blessing, Edyth Bulbring (South Africa)
Devil Star, Hazel Campbell (Jamaica)
Brothers, Adrienne Frater (New Zealand)
Like a Heart Maybe, but Cold, Chris Hill (UK)
The False River, Nick Holdstock (UK)
Radio Story, Anushka Jasraj (India)
Rush, Nic Low (Australia)
Elbow, Khadija Magardie (South Africa)
Two Girls in a Boat, Emma Martin (New Zealand)
Glory, Janice Lynn Mather (The Bahamas)
The Dolphin Catcher, Diane McCauley (Jamaica)
Friends, Sharon Millar (Trinidad and Tobago)
The Ghost Marriage, Andrea Mullaney (UK)
If These Walls had Ears, Carl Nixon (New Zealand)
Next Full Moon We’ll Release Juno Bridget Pitt (South Africa)
The Crane, Sarah Quigley (New Zealand)
Drums, Mahesh Rao (UK)
Ammulu, Poile Sengupta (India)
Another Dull Day, Sreejith Sukumaran (India)

Carl Nixon and Sarah Quigley with Bookman Beattie at the Auckland Writers & Readers Festival, 2011

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