Six Indians shortlisted for Commonwealth prizes
Apart from Thayil (“Narcopolis”) and Pinto (“Em and the Big Hoom”), the other Indian writers whose works are among 21 books shortlisted for the Commonwealth Book Prize are Nilanjana Roy (“The Wildings”), Mishi Saran (“The Other Side of Light”) and Farhad Sorabjee (“God on Every Wind”). In the Commonwealth Short Story Prize, Anushka Jasraj’s “Notes from the Ruins” is among the 19 works shortlisted.
The Commonwealth Book Prize is awarded for the best first novel, and the Commonwealth Short Story Prize for the best piece of unpublished short fiction.
Political, religious and social conflict runs through many of this year’s shortlisted entries, but there are also humorous stories, stories of hope, and stories full of imagination and power.
Encompassing a span of 54 countries, entries are judged within the five regions of Africa, Asia, Canada and Europe, the Caribbean and the Pacific, each of which will produce a regional winner for the two prizes. These will be announced on May 14.
The final winners will be announced at the Hay Festival on May 31. Chair of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize, BBC journalist Razia Iqbal, said: “People often assume short stories are easier to write because they’re, well, short! But it takes a particular skill to establish mood, character and tone. in quick strokes, and tell a story which leaves a lasting impression.