Not too long ago, I posted the longlist for the Commonwealth Writers Prize 2008. The various regional winners have now been announced and they now form the shortlist for the major prizes. The winners will be announced in May.
Best Book: Karen King-Aribisala (Nigeria) The Hangman's Game Peepal Tree Press
Best First Book: Sade Adeniran (Nigeria) Imagine This SW Books
Canada and Caribbean
Best Book: Lawrence Hill (Canada) The Book of Negroes HarperCollins Publishers
Best First Book: CS Richardson (Canada) The End of the Alphabet Doubleday Canada
Europe and South Asia
Best Book: Indra Sinha (India) Animal's People Simon and Schuster
Best First Book: Tahmima Anam (Bangladesh) A Golden Age John Murray
South East Asia and South Pacific
Best Book: Steven Carroll (Australia) The Time We Have Taken HarperCollins
Best First Book: Karen Foxlee (Australia) The Anatomy of Wings University of Queensland Press
I took a little time to see a bit more about these books than I did when the longlist was named. There are links to Amazon pages (or other bookstores) where I could find them.
The Hangman's Game sounds really interesting - a mix of modern and historical fiction, with a focus on the slave trade of the 1800s in the historical sections.
Imagine This has really positive reviews on Amazon.co.uk. The story of a young girl who moves from London to Nigeria. Most reviewers seem to be surprised by the fact that the story works so well given that it is told in a journal format.
The Book of Negroes is also focussed on the slave trade and sounds really good.
The End of the Alphabet - a dying man wants to visit the must see places in the world, but must also deal with issues around love and grief.
Animal's People has been on my TBR list since it appeared on the Booker longlist last year.
A Golden Age - set during the Bangladeshi fight for independence from Pakistan.
The Time We Have Taken - a Melbourne suburb is celebrating it's hundredth birthday, and the people look back to see what to commemorate. I might read this just because it is set in Melbourne.
The Anatomy of Wings - a young girl looks for answers following the death of her sister.