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Two Anansi Authors Shortlisted for Commonwealth Writers' Prize

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From the Anansi news release

Helen Garner has been shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for "Best Book" in the South East Asian and Pacific region for her internationally-acclaimed novel The Spare Room, the story of two friends facing illness and death together, one as patient, one as caregiver.

Pasha Malla, author of the Giller longlisted short story collection The Withdrawal Method, has been shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for "Best First Book" in the region of the Caribbean and Canada.

Winners will be announced in Kingston, Jamaica on March 11, 2009.

Established in 1987, the Commonwealth Writers' Prize promotes outstanding literary talent, and encourages wider readership, thereby increasing appreciation of, and understanding between cultures. Regional prizes are offered for "Best Book" and "Best First Book" in the regions of Africa; the Caribbean and Canada; Europe and South Asia; and South East Asia and South Pacific. The eight regional winners move on to the final phase of competition, two of which will emerge as winners of overall "Best Book," and overall "Best First Book." Last year's winners were Lawrence Hill from Canada for "Best Book" for The Book of Negroes, and Tahmima Anam from Bangladesh for "Best First Book" for A Golden Age.

To view the complete shortlists, visit the official site of the Commonwealth Foundation.

HELEN GARNER was born in Geelong, Australia, in 1942. She has been publishing novels, stories, nonfiction, and journalism since 1977, when her first novel, Monkey Grip, appeared. She was awarded Australia's richest literary prize, the Melbourne Prize for Literature, in 2006. She lives in Melbourne.

PASHA MALLA has had multiple stories nominated for the Pushcart and Journey prizes, and was a pick for Best American Nonrequired Reading (selected by Dave Eggers). He is working on a novel to be published by Anansi in 2010. The Withdrawal Method was a Globe and Mail "Top 100 Book of the Year."

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