The Commonwealth Foundation has announced the regional winners for the 2013 Commonwealth Book Prize and Commonwealth Short Story Prize. Representing Africa, Asia, Canada & Europe, Caribbean, and the Pacific regions, these writers will now compete to become the overall winner, to be announced at Hay Festival UK on 31 May.
The Commonwealth Book Prize is awarded for the best first novel, and the Commonwealth Short Story Prize for the best piece of unpublished short fiction.
Part of Commonwealth Writers, the prizes unearth, develop and promote the best of new writing from across the Commonwealth, developing literary connections worldwide and consistently bringing less-heard voices to the fore. The cultural breadth of stories from this year’s regional winners includes Sri Lanka on the eve of independence from British Colonial rule, the Socialist regime of 1970s Jamaica, and a South Africa riven by apartheid.
On winning for her debut novel Island of a Thousand Mirrors, Nayomi Munaweera, said: “I am absolutely delighted. After a decade spent writing and publishing, the idea that the book would one day find itself in this esteemed company was beyond what I allowed myself to dream of. I am incredibly grateful to represent Sri Lanka, a small place, but one with many stories to share with the world.”