2 Pakistanis shortlisted for C’wealth writers prize

Dawn,19 February 2010


2 Pakistanis shortlisted for C’wealth writers prize

KARACHI, Feb 18: Two Pakistani writers have made it to the shortlist for the regional (Europe and Asia) Commonwealth Writers Prize 2010.

Daniyal Muenuddin for Other Rooms, Other Wonders and Aamer Hussein for his sixth book, a novella Another Gulmohar Tree, have been included in the shortlist announced by Muneeza Shamsie, the regional chairperson for Europe and South Asia, in Karachi on Thursday. Daniyal Muenuddin is a contender for the Best First Book Award while Aamer Hussein for the Best Book Award, according to a press release.

The regional shortlisted authors are: (Best Book) Solo by Rana Dasgupta (Britain); For Pepper and Christ: A Novel by Keki Daruwalla (India); The Beijing of Possibilities by Jonathan Tel (Britain); Heartland by Anthony Catwright (Britain); Another Gulmohar Tree by Aamer Hussein (Pakistan) and The Immortals by Amit Chaudhuri (India). The authors included in the shortlist for Best First Book Award are: The Hungry Ghosts by Anne Berry (Britain); Arzee the Dwarf by Chandrahas Choudhury (India); In Other Rooms,Other Wonders by Daniyal Muenuddin (Pakistan); Among Thieves by Mez Packer (Britain); An Equal Stillness by Francesca Kay (Britain), and Tail of the Blue Bird by Nii Parkes (Britain).

The three judges –— Muneeza Shamsie, Dr Upamanyu Mukherjee from the University of Warwick in UK and Dr Stephanos Stephanides from the University of Cyprus – met in Karachi last weekend to select the winners, who will be announced in Karachi next month.

Established in 1987, the Commonwealth Writers Prize is administered by the Commonwealth Foundation in London with the support of Australia’s largest philanthropist group the Macquirie Foundation. The prize has a two-tier structure: First, the four Commonwealth regions — Australia and the Pacific, Africa, Canada and the Caribbean, Europe and South Asia — select their shortlists and later, the winners. The final programme brings together the finalists from each of these regions and two overall winners are chosen. Last year Mohammed Hanif’s novel A Case of Exploding Mangoes became the first Pakistani novel to win the award — for the Best First Book.