2011 Awards Round-up (9): The Final List of the Year

The end of the year is here.  It’s been fun but quite exhausting putting these lists together.  But I will continue the feature next year.  I will try and compile a list per month.  These irregular round-ups are quire long.  I begin with two important items:

Shadow Juries

Some bloggers have been actively reading and judging shortlists and longlists of literary awards.  And, it’s really a good thing.  There are two shadow juries that I’m aware of:

  1. Currently ongoing (since mid-November) is the  Shadow MAN Asian Literary Prize.  The Shadow Jury is working its way through the 12-title longlist.  The 5-member jury is coordinated by ANZ Litlovers LitBlog and Whispering Gums.
  2. Kevin from Canada coordinated the Shadow Giller Prize.  The Shadow jury picked The Free World by David Bezmozgis as its winner.


This is my favorite prize in the world.  The longlist is long, libraries nominate books and it’s open to translated fiction.  The longlist for the €100,000 2012 International IMPAC  Dublin Literary  Award was announced on November 7th, 2011.  There are 147 titles on the list and here are other details:

  • 45 countries, 34 titles in translation, 18 languages, 31 first novels
  • There are five African authors authors on the list: Leila Aboulela for Lyrics Alley, Lauren Beukes for Zoo City, Aminatta Forna for The Memory of Love, Nnedi Okorafor for Who Fears Death and Chike Uzoma for Goodnight Father.
  • Eight books representing Australia and New Zealand.  ANZ Litlovers has the titles.
  • Lots of authors I recognize: Allende, Coe, Cunningham, DeLillo, Egan, Zambra, Oksanen, Nesbo, Per Petterson, Shyteyngart, Rachman, Krauss, Mieville, Kiran Desai…

The complete longlist is here.   The “2012 Judging Panel comprises Irish author, Mike McCormack; Elizabeth Nunez, writer and academic from Trinidad & Tobago;  Tim Parks, British writer, translator and academic; Evelyn Schlag, Austrian poet and writer; and Croatian writer Dubravka Ugresic.

The shortlist will be announced on  April 12th, 2012.

Cuban writer Leonardo Padura has won the Prix Carbet de la Caraïbe et du Tout Monde.   Padura is one of the best-known Cuban novelist.  His books include the Havana Quartet series

Australian poet Mark Tredinnick has won the inaugural $50,000 Montreal International Poetry Prize for his poem Walking Underwater. Click to read his winning poem.

The 2011 Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature was given to “the revolutionary creativity of the Egyptian people”.  Arabic Literature (in English) has an article on the award.

The 2011 Dundee International Book Prize  has been awarded to Simon Ashe-Browne of Ireland.  The £10,000 award is for an unpublished novel written by an emerging novelist. Ashe-Browne’s psychological thriller, “Nothing Human Left”, will be published next year.

Siddhartha Mukerjee won the 2011 Guardian First Book award  for his biography of cancer, The Emperor of All Maladies.

Amin Maalouf

Lebanese author Amin Maalouf is the recipient of the $120,000 Al Owais Cultural and Scientific Achievement Award, which is awarded annually by the Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Foundation.  His works of fiction include Samarkind, The Rock of Tanios and The Garden of Light.

Chilean poet Nicanor Parra won the 2011 Cervantes Prize.  My thanks to By The Firelight for the notice.  Canada’s CBC News has a nice article on the poet.

David Guterson has won the Literary Review’s bad sex in fiction award.  The offending sex are in his fifth novel, Ed King, a modern reimagining of the Oedipus myth.  Other finalists included Haruki Murakami’s IQ84, Peter Nadas’ Parallel Stories, Lee Child’s The Affair among other.

The 2011 Toronto Book Award was given to Rabindranath Maharaj for his novel The Amazing Absorbing Boy. The other finalist were:

  • James Fitzgerald, What Disturbs Our Blood (memoir)
  • James King, Étienne’s Alphabet (novel)
  • Nicholas Ruddock, The Parabolist (novel)
  • Alissa York, Fauna (novel)

The Irish Book Awards were announced on November 18, 2011.  The winners include:

  • Hughes and Hughes Irish Novel of the Year: Mistaken by Neil Jordan
  • The Specsavers Irish Children’s Book – junior: The Lonely Beast by Chris Judge
  • The Specsavers Irish Children’s Book – senior: The Real Rebecca by Anna Carey
  • The Sunday Independent Best Irish Newcomer: Solace by Belinda McKeon
  • The International Education Services Irish-Published Book: Connemara: A Little Gaelic Kingdom by Tim Robinson
  • The Irish Sports Book: Inside the Peloton by Nicolas Roche
  • The Eason Irish Popular Fiction Book: All For You by Sheila O’Flanagan
  • Lifetime Achievement: Seamus Heaney

Visit the award’s website for a complete list of winners and nominations.

The winners of the  75th Governor General’s Literary Awards (of Canada) were announced in November as well.  Winners include:

  • Fiction:  The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt
  • Non-fiction:  Mordecai: The Life and Times by Charles Foran
  • Poetry:  Killdeer by Phil Hall

Please see the official announcement for all the English and French category winners.

The 2011 Prix Européen de Littérature has been awarded to Drago Jancar of Slovenia. His novel Mocking Desire is available in English.

The 2011 European Book Prize winners are Anna Bikont for Le Crime et le Silence (non-fiction) and Maxim Leo for Histoire d’un Allemand de l’Est (fiction).  This prize, which covers all of Europe is most obscure.   Julian Barnes had not heard of the prize when he was asked to be a member of the judging panel.  His article about the prize is here.

Staying with Europe and don’t be confused, the winners of the 2011 European Union Prize for Literature are:

The 12 winners of the 2011 European Union Prize for Literature were announced on October.  Most of the books have not been translated in English yet.  Adam Foulds of the United Kingdom won for his novel The Quickening Maze. The full list of winning authors and their books are here.

The winners of the 2010 Shirley Jackson Awards were announced back in July 2011. They are:

Mr. Shivers, Robert Jackson Bennett

Dark Matter, Michelle Paver
A Dark Matter, Peter Straub
Feed, Mira Grant
The Reapers Are the Angels, Alden Bell
The Silent Land, Graham Joyce

Mysterium Tremendum”, Laird Barron

The Broken Man, Michael Byers
Chasing the Dragon, Nicholas Kaufmann,
One Bloody Thing After Another, Joey Comeau
Subtle Bodies, Peter Dubé
The Thief of Broken Toys, Tim Lebbon

The Wellcome Book Prize celebrates medicine in literature and this year’s award goes to Turn of Mind by Alice Laplante.  The shortlist included:

  • The Emperor of all Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee (non-fiction)
  • The Two Kinds of Decay by Sarah Manguso (non-fiction)
  • Nemesis by Philip Roth (fiction)
  • My Dear I Wanted to Tell You by Louisa Young (fiction)
  • State of Wonder by Ann Patchett (fiction)

The winner of the 2011 Green Carnation Prize is The Proof of Love by Catherine Hall.

The (US) National Book Awards were announced in November.  The winners are:

  • Fiction: Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward
  • Non-Fiction: The Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt
  • Poetry: Head Off & Split by Nikki Finney
  • Young People: Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai

The shortlist for the 2011 edition of the TS Eliot Prize was announced on October 20, 2011.  The prize goes to the best poetry collection. The titles on the list are:

  • Black Cat Bone by John Burnside
  • The Bees by Carol Ann Duffy
  • Profit and Loss by Leontia Flynn
  • Night by David Harsent
  • Armour by John Kinsella
  • Grace by Esther Morgan
  • Tippoo Sultan’s Incredible White-Man-Eating Tiger Toy-Machine!!! by Daljit Nagra
  • November by Sean O’Brien
  • Farmer’s Cross by Bernard O’Donoghue
  • Memorial by Alice Oswald

The winner will be announced in mid-January.

In other news:

There is a new prize in town; The SI Leeds Literary Prize is for unpublished fiction by Black and Asian women resident in the UK aged 18 years and over. The inaugural prize is set for 2012. See their website for more details.

Alice Oswald, British poet and previous winner of the TS Eliot Prize withdrew from judging the prize over sponsorship by a private equity firm:

“I’m uncomfortable about the fact that Aurum Funds, an investment company which exclusively manages funds of hedge funds, is sponsoring the administration of the Eliot Prize; I think poetry should be questioning not endorsing such institutions and for that reason I’m withdrawing from the Eliot shortlist.”


By the way, doe anyone know who won the 2011 Yvonne Vera Award? I can locate the shortlist but not the announcement of the winner.



  1. Impressive work, Kinna. I have to admit though that I’ve never read any of the works metioned above. Will try to expand my horizon. Happy new Year to you, Kinna.


  2. Great round up, Kinna. I like the Irish Prize format. One prize for best novel and one for the best popular fiction book. It is an interesting way of dividing between what I imagine is literary vs. popular.


    • You are welcome. Yep, I think the Irish Book Prize resolves that issue which seems to plague the US National Book Awards. All the best.


  3. A Fantastic, Wonderful & stupendously amazing list you’ve compiled here Kinna, must have taken you some time, So my hearty thanks for doing so. Also Nicanor Parra winning the 2011 Cervantes Prize. If there’s an afterlife Bolano will be raising a glass in celebration as he rated Parra very highly.


  4. I do not see a thinker-writer like Ayi Kwei Armah(AKA) on such lists. Indeed he has been very active in the last ten years. The sub-text is clear to my mind: a thinker-writer who focuses on the pertinent African/human questions and does not fit into the hegemonic orthodox stylistics is SIMPLY ignored. Some of us WILL work on prizes for AKA and his ilk: now that is POWER :)!!!


    • Bear in mind that an author and publisher have to submit the work for consideration. Now, Ayi Kwei Armah is reclusive he rarely attends conferenced and festivals. So I doubt that he would submit his work for a literary prize. Some require the author to be in attendance to receive the prize. I think he will be mortified!


  5. Phew, great round up, Kinna. Thanks for the link, but you’ve given me too much kudos. Lisa is the one who got us going and is overseeing our project. I’m just producing weekly roundups of the panel’s reviews as my bit for the cause. It’s a good project to highlight though as Asian, like African literature, is not well enough known in the west.

    I’d seen that Australian poet win, but I don’t know him. Must check him out.


Comments are closed.