Yes, Shehan Karunatilaka has done it again. The question is can he scoop the big one? The Commonwealth Writers has announced the regional winners for the 2012 Commonwealth Book Prize and Commonwealth Short Story Prize and no prizes for guessing- he’s one of them.
Representing Africa, Asia, Canada & Europe, Caribbean, and the Pacific regions, these writers will now compete for the overall prize which will be announced at the Hay Festival on June 8.
The regional winners of the Commonwealth Book Prize are:
Africa:Jacques Strauss, South Africa The Dubious Salvation of Jack V, (Jonathan Cape); Asia: Shehan Karunatilaka, Sri Lanka, Chinaman: The Legend of Pradeep Mathew, (Random House); Canada and Europe: Riel Nason, Canada, The Town that Drowned, (Goose Lane Editions); Caribbean: Alecia McKenzie, Jamaica, Sweetheart (Peepal Tree Press) and Pacific: Cory Taylor, Australia, Me and Mr Booker, (The Text Publishing Company).
Commenting on the winners, Chair of the Commonwealth Book Prize, Margaret Busby said, “We were wonderfully spoilt for choice among some strong regional contenders on the shortlist, and although we could not take every favourite further, the books that triumphed are a reminder of what the best fiction can be.”
Shehan is currently in upstate New York at a Writer's Retreat working on his new book. After the Commonwealth Prize, the Gratiaen Prize winner will do a tour of the U.S, namely New York, Boston, Seattle and San Francisco where his book is published as "The Legend of Pradeep Mathew".