A few commenters on my post yesterday hadn’t heard of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, so I thought I’d give you a brief introduction. It is one of my favourite book awards, as I have loved all the winning books I’ve read.
The prize is awarded annually to the best book written by an author from one of the 53 countries of the Commonwealth. The judging is initially divided into four regions: Africa, Europe and South Asia, The Caribbean and Canada, and South East Asia and the South Pacific. with a long list and then a short list being announced before the winner is finally revealed.
The 2010 short lists were:
Note: Book short listed for Best Book is on the left; Best First Book on the right.
Canada and the Caribbean
Europe and South Asia
South East Asia and South Pacific
Overall Winners 2010
Best First Book:
I have a copy of Under this Unbroken Sky here and hope to read it at sometime soon. The rest of the books appeal to me too, so as soon as I spot copies in my local library I’ll be checking them out.
Previous winners of Commonwealth Writers’ Prize
1987 – Olive Senior, Summer Lightning
1988 – Festus Iyayi, Heroes
1989 – Janet Frame, The Carpathians
1990 – Mordecai Richler, Solomon Gursky Was Here
1991 – David Malouf, The Great World
1992 – Rohinton Mistry, Such a Long Journey
1993 – Alex Miller, The Ancestor Game
1994 – Vikram Seth, A Suitable Boy
1995 – Louis de Bernières, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin
1997 – Earl Lovelace, Salt
1998 – Peter Carey, Jack Maggs
1999 – Murray Bail, Eucalyptus
2001 – Peter Carey, True History of the Kelly Gang
2002 – Richard Flanagan, Gould’s Book of Fish
2003 – Austin Clarke, The Polished Hoe
2004 – Caryl Phillips, A Distant Shore
2005 – Andrea Levy, Small Island
2007 – Lloyd Jones, Mister Pip
2009 – Christos Tsiolkas, The Slap
2010 – Rana Dasgupta, Solo
I have read seven CWP winning books and loved them all. Creating this list made me realise how much I have enjoyed books from this prize and so I’m going to try to read a few more in the future. I already have a copy of The Book of Negroes, so will try to fit it in next month.
Do you follow the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize?
Are there any books that you particularly recommend?