Kinna Reads

A blog of books, reading and world literature


2012 Awards Round-up (1): It Begins

I’ve started this year’s round-ups  much later than I had planned.  There will be regular monthly bulletins from now on.  The year has begun well.  In the order of winners, shortlists, longlists and news:

Sri Lankan author Shehan Karunatilaka was awarded the $ 50,000 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2012  for his novel, Chinaman which,  “explores cricket as a metaphor to uncover a lost life and a lost history. Chinaman skillfully uses sport and the notion of fair play to look at Sri Lanka in a fresh and exciting way”.  There were six books books on the shortlistHere is a link to an excerpt from Chinaman.  I really want to read this book.

Teju Cole has won the Hemingway/PEN award for his novel, Open City.  I just won this book in a contest and will finally get to read it.

Kaheld Mattawa has won the 2011 Saif Ghobash-Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation for his translation of Adonis: Selected Poems (via Three Percent).  The runner-up is Barbara Romaine for her translation of Spectres by Radwa Ashour.  Maia Tabet was commended on her translation of White Masks by Elias Khoury.

The National (US) Book Critic Circle awards were presented on March 8, 2012.  The winners are:

  • Fiction:  Edith Pearlman for Binocular Vision: New & Selected Stories
  • Nonfiction: Maya Jasanoff for Liberty’s Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World
  • Biography: John Lewis Gaddis for George F. Kennan: An American Life
  • Poetry Award: Laura Kasischke for Space, in Chains
  • Autobiography: Mira Bartók for The Memory Palace: A Memoir
  • Criticism:  Geoff Dyer for Otherwise Known as the Human Condition: Selected Essays and Reviews

The full list of the finalists can be viewed here.

Alex Miller has won the 2011 Costa Prize Book of the Year for his novel,  Pure.   

The 2011 Costa Prize Category award winners are:

  • Novel:  Pure by Alex Miller
  • First Novel:  Tiny Sunbirds by Christie Watson (set in the Niger Delta)
  • Poetry:  The Bees by Carol Ann Duffy
  • Biography: Now All Roads Leads to France: The Last Years of Edward Thomas by Matthew Hollis
  • Children’s Book:  Blood Red Road by Moira Young

The winners of the 43rd NAACP Image Awards for Literature are:

  • Fiction:  Say Amen, Again by Reshonda Tate Billinsgley
  • Non-Fiction:   The Wealth Cure: Putting Money in Its Place by Hill Harper
  • Debut Author:  The Strawberry Letter by Shirley Strawberry
  • Biography/Auto-Biography: My Song by Harry Belafonte
  • Poetry:  Afro Clouds and Nappy Rain:  The Curtis Brown Poems by James Golden
  • Children:  You Can Be A Friend  by Tony & Lauren Dungy (Authors), Ron Mazellan (Illustrator)
  • Youth/Teens:  Jesse Owens: I Always Loved Running by Jeff Burlingame


Nominees for Kenya’s Burt Award for African Literature 2012 are:

  • Edward Mwangi for The Delegates
  • Ngumi Kibera for The Devil’s Hill
  • Anthony Mugo for Never Say Die

Winners for this manuscript prize will be announced in September 2012.

The Shortlist for the International Prize for Arabic Literature 2012 was announced on January 11, 2012.  The list comprises:

  • The Vagrant  by Jabbour Douaihy (Lebanon)
  • Embrace on Brooklyn Bridge  by Ezzedine Choukri Fishere  (Egypt )
  • The Druze of Belgrade by Rabee Jaber (Lebanon)
  • The Unemployed by Nasser Iraq (Egypt)
  • Toy of Fire by Bachir Mefti (Algeria)
  • The Women of al-Basatin by Habib Selmi (Tunisia)

The winner will be announced on March 27, 2012.

Seven books made it on to the 2011 MAN Asian Literary Prize’s shortlist.  The are:

  • Dream of Ding Village by Yan Lianke
  • Please Look After Mom by Kyung-Sook Shin
  • The Wandering Falcon by Jamil Ahmad
  • The Sly Company of Those Who Care by Rahul Bhattachariya
  • River of Smoke by Amitav Ghosh
  • The Lake by Banana Yoshimoto
  • Rebirth by Jahnavi Barua

The winner will be announced in March.  For reviews, please see the wonderful work on the longlist by the Shadow MAN Asian Prize Jury.

The shortlist for the 2012 Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-fiction was announced on January 10th, 2012.  The writers and books on the list are:

  • Wade Davis, Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest
  • Charlotte Gill, Eating Dirt: Deep Forests, Big Timber, and Life with the Tree-Planting Tribe
  • JJ Lee, The Measure of a Man: The Story of a Father, a Son, and a Suit
  • Madeline Sonik, Afflictions & Departures: Essays
  • Andrew Westoll, The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary: A Canadian Story of Resilience and Recovery

The winner will be announced on March 5th, 2012.

The 2011 finalists for The Story Prize are:

  • The Angel Esmeralda by Don DeLillo
  • We Others by Steven Millhauser
  • Binocular Vision by Edith Pearlman

The winner will be announced on March 21, 2012

The Mystery Writers of American have announced its nominees for the 2012 Edgar Awards. The entire list of 15 categories is can be viewed here.  The awards will be presented on April 26, 2012.

The finalists for the 2011 Los Angeles Times Book Prizes were announced on February 21, 2012.  There are five finalists in each of the 10 categories.  The shortlist for the Fiction category is:

  • Ghost Light by Joseph O’Connor
  • The Cat’s Table by Michael Ondaatje
  • The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka
  • Binocular Vision: New & Selected Stories  by Edith Pearlman
  • Luminarium by Alex Shakar

The prizes will be award on April 20, 2012.  Please click on the link above to read see the complete set of finalists.

The finalists for the 2012 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction were announced on February 21, 2012.  They are:

  • Russell Banks for Lost Memory of Skin
  • Don DeLillo for The Angel Esmeralda: Nine Stories
  • Anita Desai for The Artist of Disappearance
  • Steven Millhauser for We Others: New and Selected Stories
  • Julie Otsuka for The Buddha in the Attic

The winner will be announced on March 26, 2012.


The shortlist  for 2011/2012 Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature is out. This prize requires authors to submit a story in which “hope plays a role”.  The English language shortlists:

  • Jenny Robson (Maun, Botswana)
  • Maya Fowler (Cape Town)
  • Carolyn Morton (Port Elizabeth)
  • Jayne Bauling (White River)
  • Neil Malherbe (Nelspruit)
  • Elizabeth Pienaar (Johannesburg)

The shortlists for other languages are available here.


The 15-book longlist for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2012 was released on March 9, 2012.  Authors on the list include Murakami, Nadas, Oz, Eco and  Kyung-sook Shin.  A shortlist of six books will be announced on April 12, 2012.  I shall take more about this award in the coming days.

The 2012 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature announced its longlist of ten books in February 2012:


  • The Twelve-Foot Neon Woman by Loretta Collins Klobah (Puerto Rico)
  • Tantie Diablesse by Fawzia Kane (Trinidad and Tobago)
  • This Strange Land by Shara McCallum (Jamaica/USA)


  • The Ladies Are Upstairs by Merle Collins (Grenada)
  • Near Open Water by Keith Jardim (Trinidad and Tobago)
  • Is Just A Movie by Earl Lovelace (Trinidad and Tobago)
  • Vital Signs by Tessa McWatt (Guyana/Canada)


  • Olympian: 75 Years of Trinidad and Tobago in Olympic Sport by Basil Ince (Trinidad and Tobago)
  • Colour Me English: Thoughts About Migrations and Belonging Before and After 9/11 by Caryl Phillips (St. Kitts/UK)
  • George Price: A Life Revealed by Godfrey P. Smith (Belize)

I’m always interested in books by Earl Lovelace and Merle Collins.  The  shortlist of category winners will be announced on March 16, 2012.

The 25-book longlist for the 2012 Best Translated Translated Book Awards (BTBA) was announced on February 28, 2012.  There are several books on the list that I’ve been wanting to read.  The 10-book shortlist will be announced on April 10, 2012.  Click on link above to see the full list.

The Orange Prize for Fiction announced its much-anticipated 20-book longlist on March 8, 2012. Authors on the list include Cynthia Ozick, Esi Edugyan, Ann Patchett, Emma Donoghue and Ali Smith.  It’s a strong longlist.  The shortlist will be announced on April 17, 2012.  


The Judging Panel for the Caine Prize was announced in February 2012.  It includes:

  • Bernardine Evaristo (Chair)
  • Maya Jaggi
  • Chirikure Chirikure
  • Samantha Pinto
  • Nima Elbagir

Shortlisted stories will be announced in May 2012.


2011 Awards Round-up (5): Wins and some Controversies

I’m back, a week later than expected.  I missed all this. Lots of news on literary awards to report.  Here goes:

The winners of the 2011 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize were announced on May 21, 2011. Aminatta Forna’s The Memory of Love won the overall Best Book and Craig Cliff’s A Man Melting won the Best First Book. I’ve just started reading The Memory of Love and I’m really liking it :).  I hope she goes on to win the Orange Prize as well.

The 2011 winner of Pulitizer Prize for fiction is Jennifer Egan’s A Visit by the Goon Squad.  The other finalists were The Privileges by Jonathan Dee, and  The Surrendered by Chang-rae Lee.

Ms. Egan ‘s book also won the 2010 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for fiction.  You can read about the winners in the other categories here. Goon Squad is kicking ass :).

The 2011 OCM Bocas Prize for Carribbean Literature goes to Derek Walcott for his book of poetry White Egrets.

Ghana’s Benjamin Kwakye has been awarded the 2011 IPPY Gold Award for Multicultural Fiction for book, The Other Crucifix.  Thanks to Geosi Reads for this news. My review of the book is here.

Red April by Peruvian author Santiago Roncagliolo has won the 2011 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize.  He will share the prize with the translator Edith Grossman.  The shortlisted books are:

  • Visitation by Jenny Erpenbeck, translated by Susan Bernofsky from the German, published by Portobello Books
  • Kamchatka by Marcelo Figueras, translated by Frank Wynne from the Spanish, published by Atlantic Books
  • The Museum of Innocence by Orhan Pamuk, translated by Maureen Freely from the Turkish, published by Faber and Faber
  • I Curse the River of Time by Per Petterson, translated by Charlotte Barslund with Per Petterson from the Norwegian, published by Harvill Secker
  • Red April by Santiago Roncagliolo, translated by Edith Grossman from the Spanish, published by Atlantic Books
  • The Sickness by Alberto Barrera Tyszka, translated by Margaret Jull Costa from the Spanish, published by MacLehose Press

Stu of Winstonsdad’s blog read and reviewed all but one of the shortlisted books. Really, visit his blog.

 love german books reports that The Buchner Prize, Germany’s most prestigious literary prize has been awarded to Friedrich Christian Delius. His novella, Portrait of the Mother as a Young Woman, published by Peirene Press, was quite popular among bloggers.  See a review by Amy Reads.

Thomas Teal’s translation from the Swedish of Tove Jansson’s The True Deceiver has won the 2011 Best Translated Book Award in the fiction category.  You can read up on the full list of winners here.

The first Grand Prize for Caribbean Literature has been awarded to Earl Lovelace for his novel, Is Just A Movie.  Lovelace is from Trinidad.  I’m a fan of his work.  I recommend The Dragon Can’t Dance and Salt, which won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. Really, we’ve strayed a long way from Caribbean literature here at Kinna Reads.  Bad, bad, girl.

The American writer Philip Roth has won the 2011 Man Booker International Prize.  Read the full announcement, released on May 18, 2011, here.  This year’s prize is a prime example of how not to judge a world prize and has seen its share of controversies.  First, John le Carré  withdrew his name from consideration. Now, I’m sure that le Carre has previously said that he does not compete for prizes.  So why do the judges still insist on adding his name to the list?  Just so the poor author has to release a statement declining the nomination?  What a bother!  It gets worse.  One of the three judges resigned from the panel when it became obvious that the other two were intent on giving the prize to the American.  She then went on to release her press statement. This, of course, prompted several defenses of Roth’s work on both western sides of the Atlantic, in print and electronic media. To top it off, one of the other two judges then released an inflammatory piece on how non-English nominated writers were disadvantaged by bad translations.  Lord have mercy.  In this day and age, with the advances in translation, is a “Super Booker” judge dissing translated works?  Really?   This man needs to get out of the English stacks of the library and stroll in the aisles of translated fiction. Booker folks, please select better judges next time. Make sure to include some who actually read translated fiction. Also, find some multi-lingual judges.  I do hope that Mr. Roth enjoys his win in spite of the antics of this band of incompetent judges.

I’m yet to read a Roth novel.  Have you read any?  Have you heard of Earl Lovelace? Any thoughts on the other award winners?


Round-up: Awards, Shortlists and Longlists

There has been quite a lot of activity already for the 2011 literary awards season.

The regional winners for the 2011 Commonwealth Writers Prize were announced on March 4th. They are

Best Book: The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna (Sierra Leone)
Best First Book: Happiness is a four-letter word by Cynthia Jele (South Africa)

Caribbean and Canada:
Best Book: Room by Emma Donoghue (Canada)
Best First Book: Bird Eat Bird by Katrina Best (Canada)

South Asia and Europe:
Best Book: The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell (UK)
Best First Book: Sabra Zoo by Mischa Hiller (UK)

South East Asia and Pacific:
Best Book: That Deadman Dance by Kim Scott (Australia)
Best First Book: A Man Melting by Craig Cliff (New Zealand)

Women won in both categories for the Africa region :). I’ve had Aminatta Forna’s book on my radar and lists for a while.  I’d better get to reading it.  I’m very intrigued by That Deadman Dance, a book about the first contact set in Australia.  ANZ Litlovers has an excellent review of the book.  The overall winners of Best Book and Best First Book will be announced on May 21.  The competition looks quite keen.

Derek Walcott was awarded the TS Elliot Prize for the best new collection of poems published in the UK  or Ireland. I’ve read a couple of poems from White Egrets and they are vintage Walcott!

The longlist, of ten books, for the 2011 OCM Bocas Prize for Carribean Literature was announced on February 28.  The list comprises three books of poetry, four of fiction, and three of non-fiction.

This list has strong contenders; White Egret, Ellegaus (Kamau Brathwaite’s collection of poetry) and Create Dangerously (a collection of essays by Edwidge Danticat).  The winner will announced in late April/Early May.  You can read about the nominated books here.

The longlist of 25 titles for the 2011 Best Translated Book Awards (run by Three Percent) was announced on January 27. It features 19 authors and 12 languages.  The entire list is posted here.  Chad Post is reviewing each of the nominated titles at Three Percent.  The shortlist will be announced on March 24.

The nominees for the 2011 PEN/Faulkner fiction award were announced on March 3. They are:

  • A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
  • The Collected Stories of  Deborah Eisenberg  by Deborah Eisenberg
  • The Lord of Misrule by Jaimy Gordon
  • Model Home by Eric Puchner
  • Aliens in the Prime of Their Life by Brad Watson

Jennifer Egan’s book is part of my Contemporary American Women Writers project.  Yet, another reminder that I need to get moving on my reading lists.

Finally, the 15-title longlist for the 2011 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize was announced today.  The full list is here.  The shortlist of six books will be announced on April 11. The following titles look interesting to me:

  • The Sickness by Alberto Berrera Tyszka; translated by Margaret Jull Costa (Maclehose Press), Spanish -I’m drawn to anything that Jull Costa translates :)
  • Beside the Sea by Veronique Olmi; translated by Adriana Hunter (Peirene Press), French – A favorite among book bloggers
  • Red April by Santiago Roncagliolo; translated by Edith Grossmann (Atlantic Books), Spanish – Already on my wishlist
  • Gargling with Tar by Jachym Topol; translated by David Short (Portobello Books), Czech – I have his other book, City Sister Silver, on my TBR
  • The Museum of Innocence by Orhan Pamuk; translated by Maureen Freely (Faber), Turkish – what can I say? It’s Pamuk.

Congratulation to winner and nominees.

Have you read any of these books?


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