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?



  1. Just to let you know, Kinna, The Memory of Love has just been longlisted for this year’s Orange Book prize, as has Lola Shoneyin’s The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives.


  2. I hadn’t even heard of some of those prizes, or of the books, but quite a few that I would love to read at some point, especially Danticat and Pamuk. I think the only one I’ve read from the lists is Olmi’s Beside the Sea which I quite enjoyed.


    • There are so many prizes out there! I also want to read Danticat and Pamuk. I’m drawn to Pamuk’s work even though sometimes I find some of his books hard to comprehend!


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