Former leading New Zealand publisher and bookseller, and widely experienced judge of both the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, talks about what he is currently reading, what impresses him and what doesn't, along with chat about the international English language book scene, and links to sites of interest to booklovers.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Here is a UK slant on the Commonwealth Writers Prize shortlists:
Rushdie and Hensher face off for Commonwealth prize Alison Flood writing in guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 18 February 2009
Salman Rushdie: in the running for the Commonwealth prize. Photographer: Murdo Macleod
Salman Rushdie and Philip Hensher are to go head to head for the second time in six months after both authors made it onto the regional shortlist for the Commonwealth writers' prize.
Last year Rushdie's The Enchantress of Florence stalled at the Booker longlist stage, while Hensher's portrait of Thatcherite Britain, The Northern Clemency, garnered a place in the final Booker six, eventually losing out to Aravind Adiga's The White Tiger.
The other titles shortlisted for the £1,000 best book from Europe and south Asia award are an eclectic mix, from Chris Cleave's The Other Hand, the story of a 16-year-old Nigerian girl, to Jhumpa Lahiri's collection of migrant short stories Unaccustomed Earth. David Lodge's Deaf Sentence, about a retired university professor, and Indian author Shashi Deshpande's depiction of an affair without a future, In The Country of Deceit, complete the line-up.