The shortlist’s been announced and I’m thrilled to be on it for my short story ‘Elbow’.  Here’s the list of the other finalists, and those of the book prize.

24 April 2012

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. www.commonwealthwriters.org 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.

Shortlists:

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 Motel, 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 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, Diana McCaulay (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)

Rush, Nic Low (Australia)

Two Girls in a Boat, Emma Martin (New Zealand)

Glory, Janice Lynn Mather (The Bahamas)

The Dolphin Catcher, Diana McCaulay (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)