Thursday, February 22, 2007

While those of us based in the UK may attend the Hay Festival in May (I'm planning to attend, if anyone else is going and would like to meet up for a cuppa), the other major literary shindig at the same time is the Calabash International Literary Festival in Jamaica. The Commonwealth Writers' Prize winners will be announced at the latter. Shortlisted candidates were announced last week (full list here). The Africa region nominees are almost all South African, so I stocked up last week at the airport. They are:

Africa Region Best Book

Native Commissioner by Shaun Johnson (South Africa), Penguin Books
What Kind of Child by Ken Barris (South Africa), Kwela Books
Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Nigeria), Harper Collins
The Wizard of the Crow by Ngugi wa Thiong'o (Kenya), Random House UK
Playing in the Light by Zoe Wicomb (South Africa), Umuzi
Song of the Atman by Ronnie Govender (South Africa), Jacana

Africa Region Best First Book

All We Have Left Unsaid by Maxine Case (South Africa), Kwela Books
Ice in the Lungs by Gerald Kraak (South Africa), Jacana
A Life Elsewhere by Segun Afolabi (Nigeria), Jonathan Cape
Room 207 by Kgebeti Moele (South Africa), Kwela Books
The Beggar's Sign Writers by Louis Greenberg (South Africa), Umuzi
The Shadow Follows by David Medalie (South Africa), Picador Africa

If you're finding it difficult to track them down, as always I recommend the Africa Book Centre and they do ship internationally. My to be read pile (teetering at the best of times) is about to keel over.

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