Tahmima Anam's A Golden Age wins regional Commonwealth Best First Book Prize | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 15, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 15, 2008

Tahmima Anam's A Golden Age wins regional Commonwealth Best First Book Prize

An international judging panel has awarded the 2008 Commonwealth Writers' Prize Best First Book Award for the Europe and South Asia region to A Golden Age (2007, London: John Murray) by Tahmima Anam. The novel, a densely packed, lyrically written narrative set during Bangladesh's 1971 war of independence, was praised by the panel as “sensitive and evocative.” Animal's People by Indra Sinha was given the region's Best Book Award. A Golden Age had previously also made the final shortlist of five for the 2007 Guardian's First Book Award.
Anam, on hearing the news, responded to The Guardian newspaper that "Over the years, many of my most cherished authors have been winners of the Commonwealth Prize, and I'm deeply honoured to have been given the chance to be counted among them. I'm particularly proud to be representing my country as the first regional winner from Bangladesh."
Every year, the Commonwealth prizes are given for the Best Book and Best First Book, valued at £1,000, in each of the four Commonwealth Regions: Africa, Canada and the Caribbean, Europe and South Asia, South East Asia and the South Pacific. This year's eight regional winners will be invited to take part in a week-long program of readings, community activities and other public events alongside the final pan-Commonwealth judging in May of this year in South Africa for the overall Best Book and Best First Book winners. The announcement will be made in a special ceremony as part of the 2008 Franschhoek Literary Festival, in the Cape Winelands District, on Sunday 18 May.
The Prize, now in its 22nd year, is organised and funded by the Commonwealth Foundation, and supported by the Macquarie Group Foundation, one of Australia's leading philanthropic foundations, across all four regions.
The judging committee for Europe and South Asia consisted of Professor Makarand Paranjape (India, Chairperson), Professor Neloufer de Mel (Sri Lanka) and Donna Daley-Clarke (UK).

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