Posted by: Lisa Hill | February 11, 2011

ANZ authors in the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize shortlists

Updated 9/7/22 to include additional reviews.

The shortlists for the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize for South East Asia and the Pacific were announced today.

The shortlisted writers for Best First Book are:

  • Twenty One Immortals by Rozlan Mohd Noor (Malaysia)
  • A Man Melting by Craig Cliff (New Zealand)
  • The Graphologist’s Apprentice by Whiti Hereaka (New Zealand), see my review
  • A Few Right-Thinking Men by Sulari Gentill (Australia)
  • Traitor by Stephen Daisley (Australia/New Zealand), see my review
  • The Body in the Clouds by Ashley Hay (Australia), see my review

These debut novels are hard to find.  The links above are to Booko, but I couldn’t find a source for two of them.

The shortlisted writers for the CWP Best Book are:

  • Hand Me Down World by Lloyd Jones (New Zealand) (see my review)
  • Notorious by Roberta Lowing  (Australia)
  • Reading Madame Bovary by Amanda Lohrey (Australia) (see my review)
  • That Deadman Dance by Kim Scott  (Australia) (see my review)
  • Time’s Long Ruin by Stephen Orr  (Australia), see my review
  • Gifted by Patrick Evans  (New Zealand), see my review

These titles are easier to find.

The regional winners of the Best Book and Best First Book prizes will be announced on the 3rd March, and then the winners will be announced at Sydney Writers’ Festival on the 16th May.

My thanks to Bookman Beattie and Werewolf for the alert… the CWP website still has no press release about it at all!

Update (the next day)

For a full list of all the CWP shortlists, see 1morechapter.


  1. Just as well I’m not a gambler. I would have staked my left kidney on Chris Womersley’s Bereft.


    • It must be so hard to choose these shortlists. I know that I found it very difficult to choose my last ‘list of bests’ and ANZ LitLovers cheat every year when I ask them to choose their Top Tens and they choose more than that LOL…


  2. I have looked at the Canada and Caribbean shortlist and, frankly, they missed most of the best books. Would you say that might be true for your region as well?


    • It’s hard to say, Kevin. That Deadman Dance, and Hand Me Down World are both exceptional books IMO with Reading Madame Bovary interesting but not in the same league, but I can’t speak for the others on the Best Book list because I haven’t read them, and I haven’t read any of the debut fiction at all, but would like to have seen Glissando in there.
      I’m not quite sure what the rules are for eligibility, but I’m a bit surprised to see the list so comprehensively favour Australian and New Zealand. I think there are not many countries eligible, which seems a bit unfair when compared to the other Commonwealth realms. Apart from Malaysia, Fiji is still suspended from the Commonwealth (I think) and I’m not sure about New Guinea because it was an Australian colony for a while.


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