www.literaryawards.co.uk

The Commonwealth Writers' Prize is organised and funded by the Commonwealth Foundation. It was first awarded in 1987. The Commonwealth Foundation is an intergovernmental organisation working in the 53 countries of the Commonwealth of Nations. The aim of this book award is to encourage new Commonwealth fiction, and to ensure that works of merit reach a wider audience outside their country of origin.

The Prize covers the Commonwealth regions of Africa, Europe and South Asia, The Caribbean and Canada, and South East Asia and the South Pacific. In Each of the four regions two prizes of £1,000 are awarded for the Best Book and for the Best First Book. Eight regional winners’ books are then judged by the A pan-Commonwealth panel. Authors win £10,000 for the overall Best Book and £5,000 for the Best First Book. Writers and judges come together in a final literary programme in a different Commonwealth country each year.

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2009 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize

    2009 Commonwealth Book of the Year Winner

    The SlapMay 16th - Australian author Christos Tsiolkas has won the 2009 Best Book prize at the prestigiousCommonwealth Writers' Awards. Tsiolkas won for his work The Slap, a tale about middle-class suburban Australia and its notions of child-rearing and acceptable behaviour.

    The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas. Country: Australia. Publisher: Allen and Unwin.

    At a suburban barbecue, a man slaps a child who is not his own. This event has a shocking ricochet effect on a group of people, mostly friends, who are directly or indirectly influenced by the event. In this remarkable novel, Christos Tsiolkas turns his unflinching and all-seeing eye on to that which connects us all: the modern family and domestic life in the twenty-first century. The Slap is told from the points of view of eight people who were present at the barbecue. The slap and its consequences force them all to question their own families and the way they live, their expectations, beliefs and desires. What unfolds is a powerful, haunting novel about love, sex and marriage, parenting and children, and the fury and intensity - all the passions and conflicting beliefs - that family can arouse.

    ISBN: 9780099516743 - A Case of Exploding Mangoes2009 Best First Book Award Winner

    A Case of Exploding Mangoes by Mohammed Hanif. Country: Pakistan. Publisher:Jonathan Cape.- Why did a Hercules C130, the world's sturdiest plane, carrying Pakistan's military dictator General Zia ul Haq, go down on 17 August, 1988? Was it because of: mechanical failure, human error, the CIA's impatience, a blind woman's curse or Generals...

      John le Carré "Witty, elegant, and deliciously anarchic. Hanif has a lovely eye and an even better ear."
      edition. FT 'Irreverent, imaginative and playful' edition. Guardian
      Cadet life is entertainingly evoked, overflowing with japes, jerkoffs, hashish highs and liquored lows...The Independent `entertaining.... darkly comic.... Zia's limited intelligence and unlimited paranoia are portrayed with great glee.... edition.

    Regional Winners & Shortlists Commonwealth Writers’ Prize 2009

    Europe and South Asia | South East Asia and the Pacific | Canada and the Caribbean | Africa

    Award Tragic Comment 'Commonwealth Regional Winners Shine'>>

    note regarding listed books. The links below connect to various data-bases for further infomation as the many of the titles are not available in the UK

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    EUROPE AND SOUTH ASIA - 2009 Winners

    Best Book

    ISBN: 9780747596592 - Unaccustomed EarthUnaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri. Country: UK. Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing.

    'Lahiri's enormous gifts as a storyteller are on full display in this collection: the gorgeous, effortless prose; the characters haunted by regret, isolation, loss, and tragedies big and small; and most of all, a quiet, emerging sense of humanity.' Khaled Hosseini 'Reading her stories is like watching time-lapse nature videos of different plants, each with its own inherent growth cycle, breaking through the soil, spreading into bloom or collapsing back to earth.' The New York Times Book Review 'Reading her stories is hypnotizing - like falling into a dream where colors are brighter, smells sharper and time moves more slowly than in real life.' People 'Lahiri, a master storyteller-who, along with Alice Munro, has arguably done more to reinvigorate the once-moribund form than any other contemporary English-language writer-comes full circle with this book, imbued as it is with a sense of passage, of life and death and rebirth.' Vogue

    The New York Times Book Review (April 2008)
    'Splendid . . . Reading her stories is like watching time-lapse nature videos of different plants, each with its own inherent growth cycle, breaking through the soil, spreading into bloom or collapsing back to earth.'

    Best First Book

    A Case of Exploding Mangoes, by Mohammed Hanif. Country: Pakistan. Publisher: Jonathan Cape.

    John le Carré "Witty, elegant, and deliciously anarchic. Hanif has a lovely eye and an even better ear."
    edition. FT 'Irreverent, imaginative and playful' edition. Guardian
    Cadet life is entertainingly evoked, overflowing with japes, jerkoffs, hashish highs and liquored lows... The Independent
    `entertaining.... darkly comic.... Zia's limited intelligence and unlimited paranoia are portrayed with great glee.... edition.

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      Best Book Other Shortlisted

      • The Other Hand by Chris Cleave. Country: UK. Publisher: Sceptre.- The stunning new novel from the author of INCENDIARY We don't want to tell you what happens in this book. It is a truly special story and we don't want to spoil it. Nevertheless, you need to know enough to buy it so we will just say this...
      • The Northern Clemency by Philip Hensher. Country: UK. Publisher: Fourth Estate.SHORTLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2008. An epic chronicle of the last twenty years of British life from the Booker shortlisted and Granta Best of Young British novelist, Philip Hensher.-
      • Deaf Sentence by David Lodge. Country: UK. Publisher: Harvill Secker -Retired Professor of Linguistics Desmond Bates is going deaf. It's a bother for his wife who has an enviably successful new career and is too busy to be endlessly repeating herself. Roles are reversed with his aging father, who resents his son's...
      • The Enchantress of Florence by Salman Rushdie. Country: UK. Publisher: Random House -A young European traveler calling himself 'Mogor dell 'Amora', the Mughal of Love arrives at the court of Emperor Akbar. The stranger claims to be the child of a lost Mughal princess, the youngest sister of Akbar's grandfather Babar, Qara Koz...
      • The End of Sleep by Rowan Somerville. Country: UK. Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson - An Irishman goes in search of a tall tale in the backstreets of Cairo... Fin, an Irish journalist with little more than a rumpled linen suit to his name, wakes at dawn with a fierce hangover and an excruciating bruise on his thigh. As the first...
      • The Country of Deceit by Shashi Deshpande. Country: India. Publisher: Penguin India
      • Best First Book- Other Shortlisted

        • The Consequences of Love by Sulaiman Addonia. Country: UK. Publisher: Chatto and Windus -Under the hot sun, the Jeddah streets make a scene from an old black-and-white movie: the women dressed like long, dark shadows and the men in their light cotton tunics. Naser's friends have all left town for cooler climes but he can't get away...
        • Broken by Daniel Clay. Country: UK. Publisher: Harper Collins- You thought your neighbours were bad? Wait till you meet the Oswalds. They're crass, cruel and seemingly untouchable. Until, that is, they go one step too far -- and the results begin to tear an entire community apart. You thought your neighbours...
        • Submarine by Joe Dunthorne. Country: UK. Publisher: Hamish Hamilton Convinced that his father is depressed and his mother is having an affair with her capoeira teacher, "a hippy-looking twonk", Oliver Tate embarks on a misguided campaign to bring the family back together. Meanwhile, he is also trying to lose his...

        The judging panel for the Europe and South Asia region was chaired by Professor Makarand Paranjape (India). He was joined by judges, Dr Durre Ahmed (Pakistan) and Dr Alex Tickell (UK).

        Professor Paranjape commented:

        ‘What distinguished this year’s entries was a preponderance of well-established authors including Salman Rushdie, Philip Hensher, Shashi Deshpande and Jhumpa Lahiri in the Best Book category and some very talented new voices such as Mohammed Hanif and Joe Dunthorne in the Best First Book category. Though most of the short-listed authors either live in the UK or are British subjects, they are actually quite diverse in their origins.’

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        2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 |2005 | 2004 | 2003 |2002

        SOUTH EAST ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

        Best Book Winner

        The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas. Country: Australia. Publisher: Allen and Unwin.

        The Slap

        At a suburban barbecue, a man slaps a child who is not his own. This event has a shocking ricochet effect on a group of people, mostly friends, who are directly or indirectly influenced by the event. In this remarkable novel, Christos Tsiolkas turns his unflinching and all-seeing eye on to that which connects us all: the modern family and domestic life in the twenty-first century. The Slap is told from the points of view of eight people who were present at the barbecue. The slap and its consequences force them all to question their own families and the way they live, their expectations, beliefs and desires. What unfolds is a powerful, haunting novel about love, sex and marriage, parenting and children, and the fury and intensity - all the passions and conflicting beliefs - that family can arouse.

        About the Author

        Christos Tsiolkas is the author of three novels: Loaded, which was made into the feature film Head-On, The Jesus Man and Dead Europe, which won the 2006 Age Fiction Prize and the 2006 Melbourne Best Writing Award. He is also a playwright, essayist and screen writer. He lives in Melbourne.

        Other Shortlisted

        • Between the Assassinations by Aravind Adiga. Country: Australia. Publisher: Atlantic Books - Presents a moral biography of an Indian town and a group portrait of ordinary Indians in a time of extraordinary transformation, over the seven-year period between the assassinations of Prime Minister Gandhi and her son Rajiv. The dazzling new...
        • The Spare Room by Helen Garner. Country: Australia. Publisher: Text Publishing- Charts a friendship as it is tested by the threat of death. Helen has little idea what lies ahead when she offers her spare room to an old friend of fifteen years. Nicola has arrived in the city for treatment for cancer. Sceptical of the medical...
        • The Good Parents by Joan London. Country: Australia. Publisher: Random House Australia- Maya de Jong, an eighteen-year-old country girl from the West, comes to live in Melbourne and starts an affair with her boss, the enigmatic Maynard Flynn, whose wife is dying of cancer. When Maya's parents, Toni and Jacob, arrive to stay with her...
        • Forbidden Cities by Paula Morris. Country: New Zealand. Publisher: Penguin New Zealand -This story collection by Paula Morris roams the globe and ranges widely in subject matter. From Sunset Boulevard to the beaches of Auckland, from the Bund in Shanghai to the banks of the Danube, from the Brooklyn Bridge to the Hammersmith Flyover, from post-Katrina New Orleans to Fire Island . . . the stories of Forbidden Cities explore places of escape, transgression, ambition, delusions, and desire..
        • Breath by Tim Winton. Country: Australia. Publisher: Picador- Bruce Pike can hear the sea at night and longs to go to the shore. When he befriends Loonie, his small town's wild boy, that dream is realized. Together, intoxicated by the treacherous power of the waves and by the immortality of youth, the two boys defy all limits and rules.
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          Winner Best First Book

          The Year of the Shanghai Shark by Mo Zhi Hong. Country New Zealand. Publisher: Penguin NZ.

          The Year of the Shanghai Shark

          Hai Long is a teenager living in the Chinese city of Dalian. It's the year of the SARS epidemic in China. This is a modern China that's eye-catchingly contemporary. Hai Long and his mates drink Coca-Cola and eat American fast food. They watch American NBA basketball on television and argue whether Michael Jordan is the greatest player ever. They go to English language lessons and hilariously mock Karl, their hopelessly naive Canadian teacher, who drinks too much beer and is just dying to get away to Thai beaches to hang out with German babes. This is also the year in which Hai Long leaves school to learn the unlikely trade of his uncle. 'Uncle' has many books, but he's actually a highly successful professional pick-pocket who specialises in robbing dazed foreigners - Koreans and Japanese as well as Europeans - and makes special trips to Beijing for the purpose. As we meet a series of colourful characters in Hai Long's life and hang out with him and his mates, we also watch the teenager being trained in the ways of the pick-pocket. This is a sophisticated story of China's new generation severing ties with their cultural past, and rich with a fascinating array of colourful characters who frequent their inner-city apartment block - from Gambler Dang, a high stakes Ma Jiang player, to Fish, a peasant from the countryside and an unlikely friend, and finally Uncle, whose shadowy occupation exerts an irresistible pull on Hai Long's life...An accessible yet deceptively clever novel from an electric new voice.

          About the Author

          Mo Zhi Hong was born in Singapore but grew up in Taiwan, Canada, China, the United States of America and New Zealand. During the dot-com boom of the 1990s, he worked as a software developer in New York City, and later as an English teacher in north-east China, before recently returning to New Zealand. He is 34 years old. This is his first novel.

          Other Shortlisted

          • The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga. Country: Australia. Publisher: Atlantic Books- Balram, the White Tiger, was born in a backwater village on the River Ganges, the son of a rickshaw-puller. He works in a teashop, crushing coal and wiping tables, but nurses a dream of escape. When he learns that a rich village landlord needs a...
          • The Boat by Nam Le. Country: Australia. Publisher: Hamish Hamilton- A collection of seven stories including the story of 14-year-old Juan, a hit man in Colombia; an aging painter mourning the death of his much-younger lover; and, a young refugee fleeing Vietnam, crammed in the ship's hold with 200 others.
          • Misconduct by Bridget van der Zijpp. Country: New Zealand. Publisher: Victoria University Press.
          • Evening is the Whole Day by Preeta Samarasan. Country: Malaysia. Publisher: Fourth Estate- A spellbinding, exuberant first novel, set in Malaysia, thatintroduces us to a prosperous Indian immigrant family, as it slowly peels away its closely guarded secrets. A spellbinding, exuberant first novel, set in Malaysia, that introduces us to...
          • The Shallow End by Ashley Sievwright. Country: Australia. Publisher: Clouds of Magellan

          The judging panel for the South East Asia and the South Pacific region was chaired by Dr Anne Brewster (Australia). She was joined by judges Dr Lydia Wevers (New Zealand) and Dr Boey Kim Cheng (Singapore).

          Dr Brewster commented:

          ‘The unusually high number of entries from acclaimed and well-established writers in this year’s Best Book category is reflected in the outstanding shortlist which includes Helen Garner, Joan London, Tim Winton, Christos Tsiolkas and the Man Booker award-winning author Aravind Adiga. Alongside these names is an impressive collection of short stories by Paula Morris (Ngati Wai). Adiga, in a year of abundance, is also shortlisted in the Best First Book. The judges are pleased to note several new authors from Asia in this year’s entries in the First Book category, two of whom are shortlisted.

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          2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 |2005 | 2004 | 2003 |2002

          AFRICA

    Best Book- Winner

    Lost Colours of the Chameleon by Mandla Langa. Country: South Africa. Publisher: Picador.

    The lost colours of the Chameleon is set on the fictitious island of Bangula in the Indian Ocean - an island populated by an indigenous community that coexists uneasily with Creoles, mainly descendants of ancient Portuguese colonizers. The half-a-million inhabitants live under the twin shadows of an impending cyclone and an outbreak of the blood plague. The novel follows the story of the Colonel Gondo, a patriarch who is the father of the newly reformed nation of Bangula, and the biological father of three sons (one legitimate and two illegitimate). Following their father's death, the Colonel's three sons become embroiled in a bitter succession struggle. Abioseh succeeds the Colonel, but has to contend with the Colonel's love-child, a boy called Zebulon. Zebulon grows up embittered and poverty-stricken, with an aim of avenging his mother, Madu, who died of official neglect. Zebulon, Abioseh's half-brother, is popular among the people for the simple reason that he has made it his life's mission to comfort the bereaved, even strangers.Abioseh also has to contend with the Colonel's third son, Hieronymus Jerome, his childhood friend, who rises in the police ranks and becomes his head of security. However, Hieronymus also has ambitions of power - not so much to wield it conspicuously as to control the wielders of power, an eminence grise - who liaises with an undertaker to topple Abioseh and install Zebulon as leader of the island. This struggle for power is fuelled by the varying and personal motives of the Colonel's three sons, and reveals the fundamental divisions tearing apart the fragile nation.

    Best Book -Other Shortlisted

    • The Impostor by Damon Galgut. Country: South Africa. Publisher: Penguin.- When Adam moves into the abandoned house on the dusty edge of town, he is hoping to recover from the loss of his job and his home in the city. But when he meets Canning - a shadowy figure from his childhood - and Canning's enigmatic and beautiful...
    • My Life with the Duvals by Tim Keegan. Country: South Africa. Publisher: Umuzi.
    • Beauty’s Gift by Sindiwe Magona. Country: South Africa. Publisher: Kwela Books.
    • The One That Got Away by Zoe Wicomb. Country: South Africa. Publisher: Umuzi

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      Say You're One of Them

      Winner - Best First Book

      Say You're One of Them by Uwem Akpan. Country: Nigeria. Publisher: Abacus.

      'Say You're One of Them gives voice to its children in beautifully crafted prose and stunning detail. Uwem Akpan is a major new literary talent.' - Peter Godwin, author of Mukiwa 'Uwem Akpan writes with a politcal fierceness and a humanity so full of compassion it might just change the world. His is a burning talent.' Chris Abani, author of The Virgin of the Flames

      Review
      'SAY YOU'RE ONE OF THEM is an absorbing and, at times, disturbing read. Akpan gives voice to African child protagonists from different religious and cultural backgrounds. There is an energy that makes his book compelling . . . an unflinching collection' --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

      Best First Book - Other Short listed

          • Random Violence by Jassy Mackenzie. Country: South Africa. Publisher: Umuzi.
          • Till We Can Keep An Animal by Megan Voysey-Braig. Country: South Africa. Publisher: Jacana Media.
          • Shepherds & Butchers by Chris Marnewick. Country: South Africa. Publisher: Umuzi.
          • Boston Snowplough by Sue Rabie. Country: South Africa. Publisher: Human & Rousseau.
          • Porcupine by Jane Bennett. Country: South Africa. Publisher: Kwela Books.

          The judging panel for the Africa region was chaired by Elinor Sisulu (South Africa). She was joined by judges Kole Omotoso (Nigeria) and Billy Karanja Kahora (Kenya).

          Elinor Sisulu commented:

          ‘Once again Africa’s publishing powerhouses, South Africa and Nigeria dominated the entries. Of over fifty entries received, only two were from Kenya and two from Ghana. There was an unusually high number of short story collections among the entries.

          2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 |2005 | 2004 | 2003 |2002

          CANADA AND CARIBBEAN

          Winner Best Book

          good_to_a-faultGood to a Faultgood_to_a_fault by Marina Endicott. Country: Canada. Publisher: Freehand Books.

          Absorbed in her own failings, Clara Purdy crashes her life into a sharp left turn, taking the young family in the other car along with her.  When bruises on the mother, Lorraine, prove to be late-stage cancer, Clara—against all habit and comfort—moves the three children and their terrible grandmother into her own house. We know what is good, but we don’t do it. In Good to a Fault, Clara decides to give it a try, and then has to cope with the consequences: exhaustion, fury, hilarity, and unexpected love. But she must question her own motives. Is she acting out of true goodness, or out of guilt? Most shamefully, has she taken over simply because she wants the baby for her own?  What do we owe in this life, and what do we deserve? This compassionate, funny, and fiercely intelligent novellooks at life and death through grocery-store reading glasses: being good, being at fault, and finding some balance on the precipice.

          About the Author

          Marina Endicott was born in Golden, BC, and grew up in Nova Scotia and Toronto. She now lives in Edmonton and teaches creative writing at the University of Alberta. Marina’s first novel, Open Arms, was nominated for the Amazon/Books In Canada First Novel award in 2002 and serialized on CBC Radio’s Between the Covers. Her stories have been featured in Coming Attractions and shortlisted for both the Journey Prize and the Western Magazine Awards. She’s had three plays produced and her long poem …+ read more

          Marina Endicott was born in Golden, BC, and grew up in Nova Scotia and Toronto. She now lives in Edmonton and teaches creative writing at the University of Alberta.

          Marina’s first novel, Open Arms, was nominated for the Amazon/Books In Canada First Novel award in 2002 and serialized on CBC Radio’s Between the Covers. Her stories have been featured in Coming Attractions and shortlisted for both the Journey Prize and the Western Magazine Awards. She’s had three plays produced and her long poem, The Policeman’s Wife, some letters, was shortlisted for the CBC Literary Awards in 2006.  She is currently at work on a novel about the Belle Auroras, a sister-trio vaudeville act touring the Canadian prairies in 1909, as well as series of YA novels called Time in Hand.

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          Best Book -Other Shortlisted

          • Blackstrap Hawco by Kenneth J. Harvey. Country: Canada. Publisher: Random House Canada -amed in a moment of anger, raised to endure the tragedy of a people, Blackstrap Hawco was born with little more than a body and spirit that refuse to give up, and the menacing strength of pride. It has always been this way for the Hawco's of...
          • The Origin of Species by Nino Ricci. Country: Canada. Publisher: Doubleday Canada
          • Pynter Bender by Jacob Ross. Country: Grenada. Publisher: Fourth Estate- The first novel from a major new talent in Anglo-Caribbean writing set in and around the cane fields of Grenada. The first novel from a major new talent in Anglo-Caribbean writing set in and around the cane fields of Grenada. Pynter Bender is a...
          • Chef by Jaspreet Singh. Country: Canada. Publisher: Véhicule Press.
          • The Great Karoo by Fred Stenson. Country: Canada. Publisher: Doubleday Canada.

          Winner Best First Book

          Reading by Lightning by Joan Thomas. Country: Canada. Publisher: Goose Lane Editions.

          Lily Piper and her family live in an ephemeral world, due to collapse any moment when the Lord comes to pluck His faithful from the drought-ravaged Prairie. Lily tries to be ready, but she is restless, not the daughter she feels her mother wants. As she tries to invent herself, she conjures, too, an imagined past for her beloved father in an effort to understand him and the demons he battles.

          In her teens, Lily is sent to England to care for her grandmother and further explores the delicious question of who she might become. She falls in love with her adopted cousin, learns to experience life in all its ambiguity, and waits with the rest of England for the Second World War to start - until the news she has been dreading arrives on the doorstep, and she is called home to face a future she thought she had escaped.

          Reading by Lightning is a Bildungsroman of great wit and depth. Thomas's prose is wry and intimate, elegant and devastatingly funny. Her engrossing story of Lily Piper tells us something of how we can make sense of a future when the future is some-thing we can hardly imagine.

          Best First Book - Other Shortlisted

          • Cleavage by Theanna Bischoff. Country: Canada. Publisher: NeWest Press.
          • Silver Salts by Mark Blagrave. Country: Canada. Publisher: Cormorant Books.
          • Blackouts by Craig Boyco. Country: Canada. Publisher: McClelland and Stewart.
          • The Sherpa by Nila Gupta. Country: Canada. Publisher: Sumach Press.
          • The Withdrawal Method by Pasha Malla. Country: Canada. Publisher: House of Anansi Press
          • The Toss of a Lemon by Padma Viswanathan. Country: Canada. Publisher: Random House Canada

          The judging panel for the Canada and the Caribbean region was chaired by Dr Michael Bucknor (Jamaica). He was joined by judges Nicholas Laughlin (Trinidad and Tobago) and Dr Pamela Banting (Canada).

          Dr Michael Bucknor commented:

          ‘In this year’s 93 entries, the panel found a high concentration of stories of suffering, immigration tales and historical narratives. We also discovered a very competitive field among both categories, but we were especially pleased with the giftedness displayed and the promise shown by the authors in the Best First Book category. For future competitions of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize in this region, there will be no shortage of talent.’

          2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 |2005 | 2004 | 2003 |2002

          budgetary_cuts_by_kev_parker

    • 2008 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize

    • Winner Commonwealth Book of the Year :- Lawrence Hill, The Book of Negroes - Tells the story ofAminata, a young girl abducted from her village in Mali aged 11 in 1755, and who, after a deathly journey on a slave ship where she witnesses the brutal repression of a slave revolt, is sold to a plantation owner in South...

      Winner: Commonwealth Best First Book of the Year: Tahmima Anam, A Golden Age - A BengaliSuite Francaise Jonathan Freedland, Newsnight Review In the spring of 1971, Rehana Haque is throwing a party for her twochildren. What she does not know is that, after today, their lives will change forever. For this is East Pakistan...

      2008 Regional Winners Africa

      Winner Best Book: Karen King-Aribisala The Hangman's Game Nigeria Peepal Tree Press- When a young Guyanese woman sets out to write a historical novel based on the Demerara Slave Rebellion of 1823, she is beset by questions about her own African roots. To free her writer's block, she travels to Nigeria to experience her origins...

      Winner Best First Book: Sade Adeniran Imagine This Nigeria SW Books

      Regional Winners Canada and Caribbean

      Winner Best Book: Lawrence Hill The Book of Negroes Canada HarperCollins

      Winner Best First Book: C.S.Richardson The End of the Alphabet Canada Doubleday

      2008 Regional Winners Europe and South-East Asia

      Winner Best Book: Indra Sinha Animal's People India Simon and Schuster- An Indian Cyrano de Bergerac, about the relationship between an extraordinary street boy and the enemy who came to help. Ever since he can remember, Animal has gone on all fours, the catastrophic result of what happened on That Night when...

      Winner Best First Book: Tahmima Anam A Golden Age Bangladesh John Murray

      2008 Regional Winners South-East Asia and Pacific

    • Winner Best Book: Steven Carroll The Time We Have Taken Australia HarperCollins- One summer morning in 1970, Peter van Rijn, proprietor of the television and wireless shop, pronounces his Melbourne suburb one hundred years old. That same morning, Rita is awakened by a dream of her husband's snores, yet is years since Vic moved...
    • Winner Best First Book: Karen Foxlee The Anatomy of Wings Australia University of Queensland Press

    • 2007 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize

    • Winner Commonwealth Book of the Year : Lloyd Jones, Mister Pip- On a copper-rich tropical island shattered by war, where the teachers have fled with almost everyone else, only one white man chooses to stay behind: the eccentric Mr. Watts, object of much curiosity and scorn, who sweeps out the ruined...

      Winner: Commonwealth Best First Book of the Year: D. Y. Béchard, Vandal Love

      2007 Regional Winners Africa

      Winner Best Book: Shaun Johnson The Native Commissioner South Africa Penguin Books

      Winner Best First Book: Maxine Case All We Have Left Unsaid South Africa Kwela Books- A beautifully crafted exploration of love and bereavement, this novel sorts through the ties that bind mothers and daughters--and the silences that keep them apart. Keeping vigil at her mother's hospital bed, Danika is overwhelmed with the desire...

      Regional Winners Canada and Caribbean

      Winner Best Book: David Adams Richards The Friends of Meager Fortune - Owen is sensitive, literary and fanciful. He joins the army in the hope of getting himself killed, instead he returns home a decorated war hero. Then he falls in love with Camellia. This is a love story and a devastating portrait of a society.

      Winner Best First Book: DY Bechard Vandal Love Canada Doubleday

      2007 Regional Winners Europe and South-East

      Winner Best Book: Naeem Murr The Perfect Man UK Heineman- Explores the power of what is not told, of the secrets that can shape us more profoundly than everything we believe to be true. This book talks about Rajiv Travers, the child of an Indian mother and English father, who is abandoned first to...

      Winner Best First Book: Hisham Matar In the Country of Men UK - On a white-hot day in Tripoli, Libya, in the summer of 1979, nine-year-old Suleiman is shopping in the market square with his mother. His father is away on business - but Suleiman is sure he has just seen him, standing across the street.

      2007 Regional Winners South-East Asia and Pacific

      Winner Best Book: Lloyd Jones Mister Pip- New Zealand Penguin Books

      Winner Best First Book: DAndrew O'Connor Tuvalu Australia Allen & Unwin - A love story of sorts, Tuvalu tells the story of Noah Tuttle, who is glumly and aimlessly living a half kind of life in a cheap rundown hostel in the seamier margins of Tokyo, a place overrun with feral cats and cockroaches. He teaches mediocre...

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      2006 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize

      Winner Commonwealth Book of the Year : Kate Grenville, The Secret River

      Winner: Commonwealth Best First Book of the Year: Suspended Sentences: Fictions of Atonement

    • 2006 Regional Winners Africa

      Winner Best Book: Benjamin Kwayke The Sun by Night Ghana Africa World Press

      Winner Best First Book: Doreen Baingana Tropical Fish: Stories Out of Entebbe Uganda University of Massachusetts Press

      Regional Winners Canada and Caribbean

      Winner Best Book: Lisa Moore Aligator Canada House of Anasi Pres

      Winner Best First Book: Mark McWatt Suspended Sentences: Fictions of Atonement Guyana Peepal Tree Press

      2006 Regional Winners Europe and South-East Asia

      Winner Best Book: Zadie Smith On Beauty UK Hamish Hamilton

      Winner Best First Book: Donna Daley-Clarke Lazy Eye UK Scribner

      2006 Regional Winners South-East Asia and Pacific

      Winner Best Book: Kate Grenville The Secret River Australia Text Pub

      Winner Best First Book: Tash Aw The Harmony Silk Factory Malaysia Harper Perennial

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      2005 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize

      Winner Commonwealth Book of the Year : Andrea Levy, Small Island

      Winner: Commonwealth Best First Book of the Year: 2005 - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Purple Hibiscus

      Regional Winners Africa

      Winner Best Book: Lindsey Collen Boy South Africa Bloomsbury

      Winner Best First Book: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Purple Hibiscus Nigeria Fourth Estate

      Regional Winners Canada and Caribbean

      Winner Best Book: Alice Munro Runaway Canada McClelland and Stewart

      Winner Best First Book: David Bezmozgis Natasha and Other Stories Canada Flaming

      Regional Winners Europe and South-East Asia

      Winner Best Book: Andrea Levy Small Island UK Review

      Winner Best First Book:Rupa Bajwa The Sari Shop India Viking Books

      Regional Winners South-East Asia and Pacific

      Winner Best Book: Andrew McGahan The White Earth Australia Allen & Unwin

      Winner Best First Book:Larissa Behrendt Home Australia University of Queensland Press

    • 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 |2005 | 2004 | 2003 |2002 | back to top

      2004 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize

      Winner Commonwealth Book of the Year : - Caryl Phillips, A Distant Shore

      Winner: Commonwealth Best First Book of the Year: Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

      Regional Winners Africa

      Winner Best Book: The Good Doctor South Africa Viking Books

      Winner Best First Book: Diane Awerbuck Gardening at Night South Africa Secker & Warburg

      Regional Winners Canada and Caribbean

      Winner Best Book: Caryl Phillips A Distant Shore UK Secker & Warburg

      Winner Best First Book: Kate Taylor Madame Proust and the Kosher Kitchen Canada Doubleday

      Regional Winners Europe and South-East Asia

      Winner Best Book:Caryl Phillips A Distant Shore UK Secker & Warbur

      Winner Best First Book: Mark Haddon The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time UK Jonathan Cap

      Regional Winners South-East Asia and Pacific

      Winner Best Book: Michelle de Kretser The Hamilton Case Australia Knopf

      Winner Best First Book: Nada Awar Jarrar Somewhere, Home Australia William Heinemann

    • 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 |2005 | 2004 | 2003 |2002 | back to top

      2003 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize

      Winner Commonwealth Book of the Year : - Austin Clarke, The Polished Hoe

      Winner: Commonwealth Best First Book of the Year: Sarah Hall, Haweswater

      Regional Winners Africa

      Winner Best Book: Andre Brink The Other Side of Silence South Africa Secker & Warburg

      Winner Best First Book: Helon Habila Waiting for an Angel Nigeria Hamish Hamilton

      Regional Winners Canada and Caribbean

      Winner Best Book: Austin Clarke The Polished Hoe Canada Thomas Allan

      Winner Best First Book: Helon Habila Waiting for an Angel Nigeria Hamish Hamilton

      Regional Winners Europe and South-East Asia

      Winner Best Book: Michael Frayn Spies UK Faber and Faber

      Winner Best First Book: Sarah Hall Haweswater UK Faber and Faber

      Regional Winners South-East Asia and Pacific

      Winner Best Book: Sonya Hartnett Of a Boy Australia Viking Books

      Winner Best First Book: Rani Manicka The Rice Mother Malaysia Sceptre

    • 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 |2005 | 2004 | 2003 |2002

      2002 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize

      Winner Commonwealth Book of the Year : Richard Flanagan, Gould's Book of Fish

      Winner: Commonwealth Best First Book of the Year: Manu Herbstein, Ama, A Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade

      Regional Winners Africa

      Winner Best Book: Nadine Gordimer The Pickup South Africa Bloomsbury

      Winner Best First Book: Manu Herbstein Ama South Africa e-reads

      Regional Winners Canada and Caribbean

      Winner Best Book: Alice Munro Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage Canada McClelland and Stewart

      Winner Best First Book: Michael Redhill Martin Sloane Canada Anchor Books

      Regional Winners Europe and South-East Asia

      Winner Best Book:Ian McEwan Atonement UK Jonatha

      Winner Best First Book: William Muir The 18th Pale Descendant UK Quartet

      Regional Winners South-East Asia and Pacific

      Winner Best Book: Richard Flanagan Gould's Book of Fish Australia Picador

      Winner Best First Book: Meaghan Delahunt In the Blue House Australia Bloomsbury

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