Nigeria looses out on Commonwealth Book Prize for 2012!

Among the plethora of book prize platforms, the Common wealth book prize, with its short story inclusive, has overtime, proven to be a prestigious and looked forward to rewarding system for authors. A good number of Nigerian authors who have carved niches for themselves had at one time or the other clinched this prestigious award, which opened up doors of opportunities for them.

The common wealth book prize,as you know, (hush…if you don’t know…let’s pretend you do) is now for authors making their debut into the literary field as against the former system which rewarded both new and old authors. Anyway, no Nigerian made the short list this year as announced by the organizers, except in the short story category. A regional winner for each prize will be awarded in five regions: Africa, Asia, Canada and Europe, Caribbean, and the Pacific. Winners will be announced on 22nd May 2012. Below is the short list for the best first book and short story:

Commonwealth Book Prize:

The Wandering Falcon, Jamil Ahmad (Pakistan), Hamish Hamilton

Patchwork, Ellen Banda-Aaku (Zambia), Penguin Books, South Africa

Rebirth: a novel, Jahnavi Barua (India), Penguin Books India

The Sly Company of People Who Care, Rahul Bhattacharya (India) Picador

The Ottoman Motel, Christopher Currie (Australia), The Text Publishing Company

A Cupboard Full of Coats, Yvvette Edwards (UK), Oneworld Publications

The Book of Answers, CY Gopinath (India), HarperCollins India

Jubilee, Shelley Harris (South Africa), Weidenfeld & Nicolson

The Dancing and the Death on Lemon Street, Denis Hirson (UK), Jacana Media

The Vanishing Act, Mette Jakobsen (Australia), The Text Publishing Company

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

Purple Threads, Jeanine Leane (Australia), University of Queensland Press

Sweetheart, Alecia McKenzie (Jamaica), Peepal Tree Press

The Town that Drowned, Riel Nason (Canada), Goose Lane Editions

Dancing Lessons, Olive Senior (Canada), Cormorant Books

The Dubious Salvation of Jack V, Jacques Strauss (South Africa), Jonathan Cape

Me and Mr Booker, Cory Taylor (Australia), The Text Publishing Company

Pao, Kerry Young (UK), Bloomsbury

Commonwealth Short Story Prize

Morrison Okoli (1955-2010), Jekwu Anyaegbuna (Nigeria)

Flight, Jayne Bauling (South Africa)

The Queen’s Blessing, Edyth Bulbring (South Africa)

Devil Star, Hazel Campbell (Jamaica)

Brothers, Adrienne Frater (New Zealand)

Like a Heart Maybe, but Cold, Chris Hill (UK)

The False River, Nick Holdstock (UK)

Radio Story, Anushka Jasraj (India)

Rush, Nic Low (Australia)

Elbow, Khadija Magardie (South Africa)

Two Girls in a Boat, Emma Martin (New Zealand)

Glory, Janice Lynn Mather (The Bahamas)

The Dolphin Catcher, Diana McCaulay (Jamaica)

Friends, Sharon Millar (Trinidad and Tobago)

The Ghost Marriage, Andrea Mullaney (UK)

If These Walls had Ears, Carl Nixon (New Zealand)

Next Full Moon We’ll Release Juno Bridget Pitt (South Africa)

The Crane, Sarah Quigley (New Zealand)

Drums, Mahesh Rao (UK)

Ammulu, Poile Sengupta (India)

Another Dull Day, Sreejith Sukumaran (India)

We wish Jekwu Anyaegbuna all the best…and of course the other competitors… may the best man/woman win…

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