It just goes to show that I’m nothing if not a really rubbish literary pundit. When the Commonwealth Writers Prize regional shortlists were announced I put my money on Aravind Adiga to at least make it through to the semis. Twas not to be however and I am left to reflect upon the fact that projecting popularity is not a strong suit of mine (when I first heard about The Piano I thought it sounded like the kind of movie that people would stay away from in droves – so I have a history of getting this sort of thing wrong).
So perhaps I should just stick to facts, just the facts (ma’am) and tell you that a single New Zealand book has made it through to the final “round” of judging in the awards. The year of the Shanghai Shark by Mo Zhi Hong will compete with the following titles in the “Best First Book” category –
Among the economic doom and gloom, the dropping New Zealand dollar might turn out to be very good news for the Kiwi writers chasing the thousands of pounds on offer in the Commonwealth Writers Prize competition.
Finalists in each of the four regional areas are announced mid-March with the winners announced at the Auckland Readers and Writers Festival in May. All of the finalists are taking part in the festival.