Saturday, February 20, 2010

Commonwealth Writer's Prizes - Regional shortlists announced

I used to think that book award season was in the fall, but I'm getting more and more evidence that it's actually a year round event. Case in point, the announcement this week of the regionally shortlisted titles for this year's Commonwealth Writer's Prize.

The Commonwealth Prize
is an interesting one. Open to books in English from Commonwealth Countries, it recognizes both regional winners and an overall winner. Of the books that have been shortlisted for the regional awards, one for each region is declared a winner. These four regional winners are then the books that make up the shortlist for the overall prize.

The four regions of the Commonwealth Writers Prize are: Africa; Caribbean and Canada; South Asia and Europe and South East Asia and Pacific.

This year Canadian writers have fared exceptionally well in the regional shortlists:

The shortlisted writers or the Caribbean and Canada Best Book are:

The Winter Vault by Anne Michaels (Canada)

February by Lisa Moore (Canada)

Euphoria by Connie Gault (Canada)

Goya's Dog by Damian Tarnopolsky (Canada)

Galore by Michael Crummey (Canada)

The Golden Mean by Annabel Lyon (Canada)

The shortlisted writers for the Caribbean and Canada Best First Book are:

Under this Unbroken Sky by Shandi Mitchell (Canada)

Daniel O'Thunder by Ian Weir (Canada)

The Island Quintet: Five Stories by Raymond Ramchartiar (Trinidad)

Diary of Interrupted Days by Dragan Todorovic (Canada)

The Briss by Michael Tregebov (Canada)

Amphibian: a novel by Carla Gunn (Canada)

Last year, Canadians Marina Endicott and Joan Thomas won the Caribbean and Canada nods: Endicott received Best Book for her novel Good to a Fault, while Thomas took home Best First Book for Reading By Lightning. The overall best book prize went to Christos Tsiolkas of Australia for the book The Slap, and the other overall prize went to Mohammed Hanif of Pakistan for his first book A Case of Exploding Mangoes.

This year's regional and overall winners will be announced in April.

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