2011 Awards Round-up (6): Wins, Shortlists and Nominations

I haven’t done one of these in a while so I’m going to jump right in.


NoViolet Bulawayo (of Zimbabwe) has won the (2011) 12th Caine Prize for African Writing with her short story, “Hitting Budapest”. Also shortlisted for the prize were:

  • Beatrice Lamwaka (Uganda) for “Butterfly Dreams”
  • Tim Keegan (South Africa)  for “What Molly Knew”
  • Lauri Kubuitsile (Botswana) for  “In the spirit of McPhineas Lata’”
  • David Medalie (South Africa) for “The Mistress’s Dog”

Let the Great World Spin, by the Irish writer Colum Mc Cann, has won the 2011 IMPAC Dublin Literary Award

Téa Obreht has won the 2011 Orange Prize for fiction with her debut novel The Tiger’s Wife.

That Deadman Dance, by Kim Scott, has won the 2011 Miles Franklin Award, Australia’s most literary prestigious award.

The 2011 Franz Kafka Prize has been awarded to the Irish author John Banville.  The mission of the prize is ” the evaluation of artistically exceptional literary creation of contemporary author whose work addresses the readers regardless of their origin, nationality and culture, as well as the work of Franz Kafka, one of the greatest authors of modern world literature”.  This award scheme has been operating since 2001.  Laureates include Haruki Murakami, Philip Roth, Peter Nadas and Harold Pinter.

Edith Pearlman will receive the 2011 Pen/Malamud Award.  The award “recognizes a body of work that demonstrates excellence in the art of short fiction”.  I’d  not even heard of Ms. Pearlman prior to this award.  She is quite a prolific short story writer.  Her latest collection, published in 2011, is Binocular Vision.

Leonard Cohen has won the 2011 Prince of Asturias Award for Letters.  The Prince of Asturias is the heir to the Spanish throne and the award is ” bestowed upon the person, institution, group of people or group of institutions whose work or research constitutes a significant contribution to universal culture in the field of Literature or Linguistics.” Previous winners include Amin Maalouf, Margaret Atwood, Ismail Kadare and Amos Oz.

Andrea Levy’s The Long Song (set in 1820s Jamaica) wins the 2011 Walter Scott Award for the best historical fiction published in the UK or Ireland.  Also shortlisted (source: Wikepedia) were

  •  Tom McCarthy for C set in turn of the 20th century Europe.
  • David Mitchell for The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet about late 18th century Shogun Japan.
  • Joseph O’Connor for Ghost Light set in 20th century England and Ireland.
  • C. J. Sansom for Heartstone set in England during the summer of 1545.
  • Andrew Williams for To Kill A Tsar set in Petersburg around turn of 20th century.

The inaugural award winner (in 2010) was Hilary Mantel for Wolf Hall. Levy is in very good company.

The Russian Booker has a new sponsor and will survive, though no award given in 2011 (via Lizok’s Bookshelf).

The 2011 Desmond Elliot Prize for best new fiction (written in English, published in UK) has been awarded to Anjali Joseph for Saraswati Park.

(via Whisperinggums) The 2011 (Australian) Prime Minister Literary Award are

  •  Fiction: Traitor, by Stephen Daisley
  • Non-fiction: The hard light of day, by Rod Moss
  • Young adult fiction: Graffiti moon, by Cath Crowley
  • Children’s fiction: Shake a leg, by Boori Monty Pryor and Jan Ormerod

The shortlist for the 2011 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award are:

  • Gold Boy, Emerald Girl by Yiyun Li (Beijing-born, American Resident)
  • Light Lifting by Alexander MacLeod (Canadian debutante)
  • Saints and Sinners by Edna O’Brien (Irish)
  • Death is Not an Option by Suzanne Rivecca (American Debutante)
  • The Empty Family by Colm Tóibín (Irish)
  • Marry or Burn by Valerie Trueblood (American)

“Launched in 2005, the award is presented each year to an original collection of stories judged to be the most accomplished”.  Previous winners include Simon van Booy, Jhumpa Lahiri, Yiyun Li and Haruki Murakami.  Edna O’Brien is a blast from my literary past :).  I loved Toibin’s The Master; I’m going to have to read his collection of short stories.  The enitre longlist can be viewed here.  The winner will announced on September 18, 2011.

The Guardian‘s First Book Prize has published, for the first time, its entire list of the 2011 nominated titles.  I’m all for transparency – it’s why I like the IMPAC so much.  So kudos to the team at The Guardian.

And now, looking ahead to the 2012 award season; jurors and nominations for the 2012 Neustadt International Prize for Literature.  The Neustadt is a biennial award and, in some circles, is considered the second most prestigious literary award after The Nobel Prize.  It has an interesting format.  Candidates for the prize are nominated by a jury of  at least seven members.  The jury ( of writers, poets and playwrights) and their nominations are:

  •  Rabih Alameddine (Lebanon) nominated  Aleksandar Hemon (Bosnia)
  • Gabeba Baderoon (South Africa) nominated Zoe Wicomb (South Africa)
  • Norma Cantu (Mexico/US) nominated Elena Poniatowska (Mexico)
  • Andrea De Carlo (Italy) nominated Bob Dylan (US)
  • Nathalie Handal (France/US) nominated Diamela Eltit (Chile)
  • Ilya Kaminsky (Russia/US) nominated Vénus Khoury-Ghata (Lebanon)
  • Yahia Lababidi (Egypt/Lebanon) nominated John Banville (Ireland)
  • Miguel Syjuco (Philippines) nominated Tahar Ben Jelloun (Morocco)
  • Samrat Upadhyay (Nepal) nominated Rohinton Mistry (India/Canada)

I want to read works by jury, most of whom are unknown to me.  Previous winners include Nuruddin Farah, Patricia Grace, David Malouf, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Edward Kamau Brathwaite, Czeslaw Milosz and Elizabeth Bishop. I like the works of all these authors.  So I’m hoping that Rohinton Mistry wins.  The winner will be announced in late September.


Phew. A rather long round-up.   Any thoughts? 



  1. What a great post and roundup of lit awards. I’m sorry to hear that there’s no 2011 Russian Booker but happy the award will continue! I look forward to your thoughts on the Booker longlist- and I’m glad see Andrea Levy’s book get some more recognition!


  2. Wonderful post, Kinna! Your post is a wonderful resource! Thanks for writing about this! I haven’t heard of the Neustadt prize before. The interesting thing for me is that Bob Dylan has been nominated for it 🙂 I want to read your previous posts on awards round-up now 🙂


  3. Thanks Kinna! Lots of good information there. I am intrigued by the Neustadt Prize, which I hadn’t heard of before, and didn’t realise it was so prestigious. I’ll check out some of the books on the shortlist. I also like the Guardian’s policy of publishing its entire list of nominated titles. There’s so much interest in literary prizes now, and so much bemusement sometimes at the decisions of the panels, that I think greater transparency is the way forward. By the way, the Booker longlist has just come out as well – keeping track of prizes is a never-ending task, it seems 🙂


  4. Phew, what an extensive list of so many awards I’d mostly not even heard of! The last sounds like the most interesting. I definitely want to try works by all the previous winners I’ve not tried yet, as well as the nomination list.


  5. What can one say but thank you on behalf of writers and readers: for your time, your zeal and commitment, and not to mention courage and the insight?!


  6. Thanks for the link Kinna and for the international round up … I was particularly thrilled to see Leonard Cohen’s award. So well deserved! He’s my man!


  7. I like sound of scott book not sure if it is getting uk punlication I look on amazon a while ago shame if it dosent ,also lot of pop /lit crossovers here dylan and cohen ,all the best stu


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