Announcing Commonwealth Prize regional winners

Commonwealth Writers has announced the regional winners for the 2012 Commonwealth Book Prize and Commonwealth Short Story Prize. Representing Africa, Asia, Canada and Europe, Caribbean, and the Pacific regions, these new writers will now compete for overall winner, which will be announced on 8 June.

Commonwealth Book Prize
Regional Winner, Africa
Jacques Strauss, South Africa: The Dubious Salvation of Jack V (Jonathan Cape)

Regional Winner, Asia
Shehan Karunatilaka, Sri Lanka: Chinaman: The Legend of Pradeep Mathew (Random House)

Regional Winner, Canada and Europe
Riel Nason, Canada: The Town that Drowned (Goose Lane Editions)

Regional Winner, Caribbean
Alecia McKenzie, Jamaica: Sweetheart (Peepal Tree Press)

Regional Winner, Pacific
Cory Taylor, Australia: Me and Mr Booker (The Text Publishing Company)

Commenting on the winners, Chair of the Commonwealth Book Prize, Margaret Busby said, “We were wonderfully spoilt for choice among some strong regional contenders on the shortlist, and although we could not take every favourite further, the books that triumphed are a reminder of what the best fiction can be: moving, entertaining, enlightening, exciting, engaging our thoughts and emotions, while creating an intimate connection with someone else’s imagination…”

Commonwealth Short Story Prize
Regional Winner, Africa
Jekwu Anyaegbuna, Nigeria: “Morrison Okoli (1955-2010)”

Regional Winner, Asia
Anushka Jasraj, India: “Radio Story”

Regional Winner, Canada and Europe
Andrea Mullaney, UK: “The Ghost Marriage”

Regional Winner, Caribbean
Diana McCaulay, Jamaica: “The Dolphin Catcher”

Regional Winner, Pacific
Emma Martin, New Zealand: “Two Girls in a Boat”

Chair of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize, Bernardine Evaristo, said: “The five regional winning stories this year rose to the top of a pool of 2200 entries and are the result of vigorous debate among the judges. We discussed not only the quality of the storytelling but the context of their respective literary cultures including notions of stereotypes and ‘the prize-winning formula’. Our final choices encompass range, depth, beauty, unpredictability and re-readability. These short stories will take you on a journey that spans cultures, eras, generations, and diverse ways of being and seeing. To read them is to inhabit other worlds.”

Congratulations to all the winners!

Culled from the Commonwealth Writers website.

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