The winners of the 2011 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize have been announced today (21 May) in Sydney.
They are Aminatta Forna – Best Book for The Memory of Love and Craig Cliff – Best First Book – for A Man Melting.
The results were announced at The Sydney Writers’ Festival.
Best Book Winner – The Memory of Love, Aminatta Forna (Sierra Leone)
The judges praised The Memory of Love for its risk taking, elegance and breadth. A poignant story about friendship, betrayal, obsession and second chances – the novel is an immensely powerful portrayal of human resilience. The judges concluded that The Memory of Love delicately delves into the courageous lives of those haunted by the indelible effects of Sierra Leone’s past and yet amid that loss gives us a sense of hope and optimism for their future. Forna has produced a bold, deeply moving and accomplished novel which confirms her place among the most talented writers in literature today.
Best First Book Winner – A Man Melting, Craig Cliff (New Zealand)
The judges chose this highly entertaining and thought provoking collection of short stories for their ambition, creativity and craftsmanship. Confidently blending ideas that frequently weave outlandish concepts with everyday incidents, the prose is skilfully peppered with social observations that define the world we live in. The eighteen short stories are truly insightful and amplify many of the absurdities around us, reflecting our own expectations, fears and paranoia on the big questions in life. This book is of the moment, and is rightly at home on a global platform. Cliff is a talent to watch and set to take the literary world by storm.
Congratulations to Aminatta Forna and Craig Cliff.
Read the full announcement here.