Saturday, February 21, 2009

2009 Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best Book and Best First Book

ARAVIND ADIGA has been shortlisted for both Best Book and Best First Book in Southeast Asia and the Pacific for both his novel, The White Tiger, and Between the Assassinations, a collection of linked stories. The shortlists for the 2009 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for both categories were announced on February 18, 2009. Helen Garner, Joan London, Chris Tsiolkas and Tim Winton have been nominated for the £10,000 prize, too.

Preeta Samarasan, who has been nominated for Best First Book, joins 2008 Man Booker Prize-winning Aravind Adiga (The White Tiger) and 2008 Dylan Thomas Prize-winning Nam Le (The Boat) in the running for the £5,000 prize.

Among others who have nominated for these prizes are Uwem Akpan, Chris Cleave, Shashi Deshpande, Joe Dunthorne, Marina Endicott, Damon Galgut, Mohammed Hanif, Philip Hensher, Jhumpa Lahiri, David Lodge, Pasha Malla, Nino Ricci and Salman Rushdie, Murzban F. Shroff and Padma Viswanathan.

The shortlists are:

Best Book
1. Between the Assassinations (stories) (Picador India, 2009) / Aravind Adiga (Australia)
2. The Spare Room (Text Publishing, 2008) / Helen Garner (Australia)
3. The Good Parents (Random House Australia/Vintage, 2008) / Joan London (Australia)
4. Forbidden Cities (stories) (Penguin New Zealand, 2008) / Paula Morris (New Zealand)
5. The Slap (Allen and Unwin, 2008) / Christos Tsiolkas (Australia)
6. Breath (Picador, 2008) / Tim Winton (Australia)

Photograph of Preeta Samarasan courtesy of Miriam Berkley

Best First Book
1. The White Tiger (Atlantic Books, 2008) / Aravind Adiga (Australia)
2. The Boat (stories) (Hamish Hamilton, 2008) / Nam Le (Australia)
3. The Year of the Shanghai Shark (Penguin New Zealand, 2008) / Mo Zhi Hong (New Zealand)
4. Misconduct (Victoria University Press, 2008) / Bridget van der Zijpp (New Zealand)
5. Evening Is the Whole Day (Fourth Estate, 2008) / Preeta Samarasan (Malaysia)
6. The Shallow End (Clouds of Magellan, 2008) / Ashley Sievwright (Australia)

The shortlists for the other three regions are as follows:

Best Book Award
1. The Other Hand (Sceptre, 2008) / Chris Cleave (United Kingdom)
2. The Country of Deceit (Penguin, 2008) / Shashi Deshpande (India)
3. The Northern Clemency (Fourth Estate, 2008) / Philip Hensher (United Kingdom)
4. Unaccustomed Earth (stories) (Bloomsbury, 2008) / Jhumpa Lahiri (United Kingdom)
5. Deaf Sentence (Harvill Secker, 2008) / David Lodge (United Kingdom)
6. The Enchantress of Florence (Random House, 2008) / Salman Rushdie (United Kingdom)

Best First Book Award
1. The Consequences of Love (Chatto & Windus, 2008) / Sulaiman Addonia (United Kingdom)
2. Broken (HarperCollins, 2008) / Daniel Clay (United Kingdom)
3. Submarine (Penguin) / Joe Dunthorne (United Kingdom)
4. A Case of Exploding Mangoes (Jonathan Cape, 2008) / Mohammed Hanif (Pakistan)
5. Breathless In Bombay (stories) (St. Martin’s Griffin, 2008) / Murzban F. Shroff (India)

Best Book
1. Good to a Fault (Freehand Books, 2008) / Marina Endicott (Canada)
2. Blackstrap Hawco (Random House Canada, 2008) / Kenneth J. Harvey (Canada)
3. The Origin of Species (Doubleday Canada, 2008) / Nino Ricci (Canada)
4. Pynter Bender (Fourth Estate, 2008) / Jacob Ross (Grenada)
5. Chef (Véhicule Press, 2008) / Jaspreet Singh (Canada)
6. The Great Karoo (Doubleday Canada, 2008) / Fred Stenson (Canada)

Best First Book
1. Cleavage (NeWest Press, 2008) / Theanna Bischoff (Canada)
2. Silver Salts (Cormorant Books, 2008) / Mark Blagrave (Canada)
3. Blackouts (McClelland and Stewart, 2008) / Craig Boyko (Canada)
4. The Sherpa and Other Fictions (Sumach Press, 2008) / Nila Gupta (Canada)
5. The Withdrawal Method (House of Anansi Press, 2008) / Pasha Malla (Canada)
6. Reading By Lightning (Goose Lane Editions, 2008) / Joan Thomas (Canada)
7. The Toss of a Lemon (Random House Canada, 2008) / Padma Viswanathan (Canada)

Best Book
1. The Impostor (Penguin) / Damon Galgut (South Africa)
2. My Life with the Duvals (Umuzi, 2008) / Tim Keegan (South Africa)
3. Beauty’s Gift (Kwela Books, 2008) / Sindiwe Magona (South Africa)
4. The Lost Colours of the Chameleon (Picador Africa, 2008) / Mandla Langa (South Africa)
5. The One That Got Away (Umuzi, 2008) / Zoe Wicomb (South Africa)

Best First Book
1. Say You’re One of Them (stories) (Abacus, 2008) / Uwem Akpan (Nigeria)
2. Porcupine (Kwela Books, 2008) / Jane Bennett (South Africa)
3. Random Violence (Umuzi, 2008) / Jassy Mackenzie (South Africa)
4. Shepherds and Butchers (Umuzi, 2008) / Chris Mamewick (South Africa)
5. Boston Snowplough (Human & Rousseau, 2008) / Sue Rabie (South Africa)
6. Till We Can Keep an Animal (Jacana Media, 2008) / Megan Voysey-Braig (South Africa)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the list, Eric. Helps me tremendously in selecting the books I want to buy.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009 3:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice meeting you at Kinokuniya the other day. What did you buy?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009 3:20:00 PM  
Blogger Eric Forbes said...

I bought two books: Yiyun Li's The Vagrants and Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009 3:21:00 PM  
Blogger Eric Forbes said...

Heartiest congratulations Aravind, Nam and Preeta!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009 3:23:00 PM  

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