Saturday, April 10, 2010

C'wealth Prize winners to come to Delhi for CWG

Literary enthusiasts might get a chance to interact with award-winning authors at a special event during the Commonwealth Games which will host all previous winners of the annual Commonwealth Writers' Prize.

"We hope to include a literary event in the cultural programmes associated with the Games and will bring to Delhi authors from different periods who have won since the Commonwealth Prize was instituted 24 years ago," Mike Collins, Director of the Commonwealth Foundation, told PTI.

Collins is in the capital along with winners of the regions of Africa, the Caribbean and Canada, Europe and South Asia and South East Asia and Pacific. The final Prize for the Best Book and Best First Book would be announced at a grand ceremony on April 12.

"To have the final ceremony of the Commonwealth Writers' Prize here is great. It is a sort of beginning for
the cultural celebrations for the Games. We are still mulling the details but it will be possible to include all the winners across different periods and regions across the years for the literary event in October," Collins said.

The previous winners of the Prize include Vikram Chandra, Jhumpa Lahiri, Mohammed Hanif, V S Naipaul, J M Coetzee, Indra Sinha, Alice Munro and Margaret Atwood among others.

"India is at the very heart of the Commonwealth and it is great to have the Games and the literary Prize come here.While the Prize is the most inclusive Prize it is not the perfect because it covers only a quarter to the third of the countries of the world," said Collins.

Established in 1987, the Prize covers the Commonwealth regions of Africa, the Caribbean and Canada, Europe and South Asia and South East Asia and Pacific, and aims to reward the best fiction written in English, by both established and new writers.

The Foundation attempts to get participation from writers from lesser known areas come forward and participate. "We are trying to use the women as role models and act as ambassadors for those who do not have access to the literature from other countries," said Collins.

"We are constantly looking at local publishers to enter the Prize. For the first time we have a winner from Samoa, a relatively lesser known African country. This Prize offers opportunities to writers to sharing of identities and experiences and ways of writing with other cultures and peoples," adds Collins.

Full report here PTI

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