The Commonwealth Book Prize
The Commonwealth Book Prize was set up in 1987 by the Commonwealth Foundation to find a wider readership for fiction by authors from the 54 Commonwealth nations (including the few who are not members of the Founadation).
The compeition was rebranded in 2012, changing from the Commonwealth Writers' Prize to its current name. The Best Book Prize was discontinued.
The Prize is divided into five regions: Africa, Europe and Canada, The Caribbean, Pacific and Asia. Each of the four Regional Winners receives £2500 with £10,000 then awarded to the overall Best Book winner chosen form these four.
The Prize shares an area of coverage with the Man Booker Prize (although the latter also considers writers from the Republic of Ireland) and many books have been in contention for both; J M Coetzee's Disgrace and Peter Carey's The True History of the Kelly Gang, however, are the only books to win both. Carey (one of only two double Booker winners) and Rohinton Mistry are the only authors to have won the Best Book prize twice.
Andrea Levy's Best Book Prize came after she had already won both the Orange Prize and the Whitbread Book of the Year, making Small Island perhaps the most garlanded novel by a British writer in recent years. She was also the first female winner of the main award since Janet Frame in 1989; the Best Book Prize has only been won by five women in total.
The 2013 overall winner was Lisa O'Donnell for The Death of Bees.
In August, it was announced that the Book Prize will no longer be awarded, the Commonwealth Writers Organisation choosing instead to focus on its annual short story prize.
WINNER OF THE COMMONWEALTH BOOK PRIZE 2013Today is Christmas Eve. Today is my birthday. Today I am fifteen. Today I buried my parents in the backyard. Nelly enjoys playing the violin, eating cornflakes with Coke and reading Harry Potter. But on Christmas Eve, the sisters have to join forces and put their differences aside.
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2013: The Death of Bees by Lisa O'Donnell
2012: Chinaman: The Legend of Pradeep Mathew by Shehan Karunatilaka
2011: The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna
2010: Solo by Rana Dasgupta
2009: The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas
2008 The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill
2007 Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones
2006: The Secret River by Kate Grenville
2005: Small Island by Andrea Levy
2004: A Distant Shore by Caryl Phillips
2003: The Polished Hoe by Austin Clarke
2002: Gould’s Book of Fish by Richard Flanagan
2001: The True History of the Kelly Gang by Peter Carey
2000: Disgrace by J M Coetzee
1999: Eucalyptus by Murray Bail
1998: Jack Maggs by Peter Carey
1997: Salt by Earl Lovelace
1996: A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
1995: Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernières
1994: A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
1993: The Ancestor Game by Alex Miller (Currently out of print)
1992: Such a Long Journey by Rohinton Mistry
1991: The Great World by David Malouf
1990: Solomon Gursky Was Here by Mordecai Richler
1989: The Carpathians by Janet Frame (currently out of print)
1988: Heroes by Festus Iyayi (currently out of print)
1987: Summer Lightning by Olive Senior
Best First Book
2011: A Man Melting by Craig Cliff (no UK edition available)
2010: Siddon Rock by Glenda Guest (no UK edition available)
2009: A Case of Exploding Mangoes by Mohammed Hanif
2008: A Golden Age by Tahmima Anam
2007: Vandal Love by D Y Béchard (No UK Edition)
2006: Suspended Sentences by Mark McWatt
2005: Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
2004: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
2003: Haweswater by Sarah Hall
2002: Ama: A Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade by Manu Herbstein
2001: White Teeth by Zadie Smith
2000: Prisoner in a Red-Rose Chain by Jeffrey Moore (currently out of print)
1999: The Electrical Field by Kerri Sakamoto (currently out of print)
1998: Angel Falls by Tim Wynveen (currently out of print)
1997: Fall on Your Knees by Anne-Marie MacDonald
1996: Red Earth and Pouring Rain by Vikram Chandra
1995: Seasonal Adjustments by Adib Khan (currently out of print)
1994: The Case of Emily V by Keith Oatley (Currently out of print)
1993: The Thousand Faces of Night by Gita Hariharan
1992: Divina Trace by Robert Antoni (currently out of print)
1991: Shape-Shifter by Pauline Melville (currently out of print)
1990: Visitors by John Cranna (currently out of print)
1989: Women of Influence by Bonnie Burnard (currently out of print)