The annual Gratiaen Prize, in affiliation with Standard Chartered Bank, will be announced on May 26 at an exclusive event hosted by the Bank. The Gratiaen Prize is awarded to the best work written in English – published or unpublished - by a resident Sri Lankan. The five writers shortlisted for the coveted Prize, from among 47 entries, are Charulatha Abeysekara Thewarathanthri for Autumn Leaves (Unpublished Novel), Lucky de Chickera’s Sarasu…amidst slums of terror (Published Novel), Madhubhashini Disanayaka-Ratnayake for There's Something I Have to Tell You (Unpublished Novel), Mariam Riza’s Cry For Me A Little: Stories Of The Souls (Published short stories), and Malinda Seneviratne for Some Texts are Made of Leaves (Unpublished poetry).
Standard Chartered Bank’s Chief Executive, Anirvan Ghosh-Dastidar speaking of the prize, initiated in 1993 by Booker Prize-winner Michael Ondaatje, said “The bank is very proud of its long affiliation with the award which is now in its 19th year. The prize has successfully provided an impetus to encouraging creative writing in English in the country, and we look forward to seeing even greater enthusiasm as the years progress.”
This year’s Gratiaen Awards includes the HAI Goonetileke Prize for translation, initiated in 2003 and awarded every other year to strengthen the Gratiaen Trust’s mandate of promoting original writing in English by recognizing those who provide English readers access to the rich literature of Sinhala and Tamil.
The HAI Goonetileke Prize is named after Ian Goonetileke, Sri Lanka’s most renowned librarian, national bibliographer and researcher extraordinaire.