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Commonwealth Writers' Prize winners announced

23rd May 2011

The 2011 Commonwealth Writers' Prize winners have been announced, with Aminatta Forna's The Memory of Love scooping the coveted best book award after triumphing in the Africa regional category.

Craig Cliff's A Man Melting, which was victorious in the debut category in the south-east Asia and Pacific region, went on to win the overall best first book prize in the awards ceremony, held in Sydney, Australia.

Nicholas Hasluck, chair of the judging panel, said the winning books demonstrate the 'irreducible power of the written word' in a time of rapid global change and uncertainty.

'The standard of entries this year has been exceptional, showcasing work with strong insight, spirit and voice, introducing readers to unfamiliar worlds,' he added.

Other regional winners included Happiness is a Four-Letter Word by Cynthia Jele, which won the best first book prize in Africa, while Kim Scott's That Deadman Dance was named best novel in south-east Asia and the Pacific.

In the Caribbean and Canada, the best book award was won by Emma Donoghue's Room and best first book by Katrina Best's Bird Eat Bird.

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell won the best book award in south Asia and Europe, with Sabra Zoo by Mischa Hiller named best first book.

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