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Commonwealth Writers' Prize shortlists unveiled

14th February 2011

The shortlists for the 2011 Commonwealth Writers' Prize have been revealed, with Helen Dunmore and Andrea Levy battling for the south Asia and Europe best book award.

Dunmore's The Betrayal and Levy's The Long Song will go up against Sex and Stravinsky by Barbara Trapido, Leila Abdoulela's Lyrics Alley and The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell. American Adam Haslett is the only non-UK author in the shortlist, with Union Atlantic.

The shortlisted debuts in the south Asia and Europe best first book prize include Serious Men by Indian author Manu Joseph, The House with the Blue Shutters by UK writer Lisa Hilton and India's Anjali Joseph with Saraswati Park.

UK authors Max Shaefer, Emma Henderson and Mischa Hiller complete the first book shortlist with Children of the Sun, Grace Williams Says it Loud and Sabra Zoo respectively, with the winners set to be announced on March 3rd.

The awards aim to recognise writers who have played a role in promoting cultural exchange and diversity through their works, said Dr Mark Collins, director of the Commonwealth Foundation.

He commented: 'This year the range of subjects, the breadth of genres and the diversity of writers will bring the very best of Commonwealth literature to new audiences.'

Last year, the UK's Rana Dasgupta won the overall best book award for Solo, with the judging panel describing it as a 'tour de force, breathtaking in its boldness and narrative panache'.

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