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Adderson, Hodgins, and Selecky among Commonwealth prize nominees

The regional shortlists for the 2011 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize have been announced, and Canadian books have swept this year’s nominations for best book and best first book for the Canadian and Caribbean region.

The Canadian publisher with the most titles on the two lists is Thomas Allen Publishers, which received nods for Caroline Adderson’s The Sky Is Falling, Jack Hodgins’s The Master of Happy Endings, and Sarah Selecky’s Scotiabank Giller Prize“shortlisted This Cake Is for the Party. In the best first book category, four of the six nominated titles are short story collections: Katrina Best’s Bird Eat Bird (Insomniac Press), Darcie Friesen Hossack’s Mennonites Don’t Dance (Thistledown Press), Alexander MacLeod’s Light Lifting (Biblioasis), and This Cake is for the Party.

The nominees for best book from Canada and the Caribbean are:

  • The Sky Is Falling by Caroline Adderson (Thomas Allen Publishers)
  • Room by Emma Donahue (HarperCollins Canada)
  • The Master of Happy Endings by Jack Hodgins (Thomas Allen)
  • In The Fabled East by Adam Lewis Schroeder (Douglas & McIntyre)
  • The Death of Donna Whalen by Michael Winter (Hamish Hamilton Canada)
  • Mr. Shakespeare’s Bastard by Richard B. Wright (HarperCollins Canada)

The nominees for best first book from Canada and the Caribbean are:

  • Bird Eat Bird by Katrina Best (Insomniac Press)
  • Doing Dangerously Well by Carole Enahoro (Random House Canada)
  • Mennonites Don’t Dance by Darcie Friesen Hossack (Thistledown Press)
  • Light Lifting by Alexander MacLeod (Biblioasis)
  • This Cake is for the Party by Sarah Selecky (Thomas Allen)
  • Ilustrado by Miguel Syjuco (Hamish Hamilton Canada)

The winners of the regional categories, who will go on to compete against writers from across the Commonwealth, will be announced on March 3.