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Photo of Aminatta Forna
AFRICA: The winner of the 2010 Aidoo-Snyder Book Prize is Aminatta Forna for her novel, Ancestor Stones. Honorable Mention was given to Sefi Atta for Everything Good Will Come. The Aidoo-Snyder Book Prize is awarded annually by the Women's Caucus of the African Studies Association (ASA) for an outstanding book published by a woman that prioritizes African women's experiences. Named in honor of Ama Ata Aidoo, the celebrated Ghanaian novelist and short-story writer, and Margaret Snyder, the founding Director of UNIFEM, this award—consisting of a $500 cash prize—will be given during the 2010 ASA annual meetings in San Francisco at the Women's Caucus Annual Lecture and Luncheon. Every fifth year the prize is given for a creative work, this year the Aidoo-Snyder Book Prize will be awarded for a novel.

The ten finalists, including the winners, announced in April are:
Ancestor Stones by Aminatta Forna (Sierra Leone) Grove Press, Sept 2007 WINNER
Everything Good Will Come by Sefi Atta (Nigeria) Interlink Books, November 2007 HONORABLE MENTION
Not Without Flowers by Amma Darko (Ghana), published by Sub-Saharan Publishers, 2007
The Uncertainty of Hope by Valerie Tagwira (Zimbabwe), published by Weaver Press, 2008
The House of Falling Women by Rosemary Ekosso (Cameroon), published by Langaa RPCIG, 2008
UnConfessed by Yvette Christainse (South Africa), Other Press, 2007
The Writing Circle by Rozena Maart (South Africa) TSAR, 2007
On Black Sisters' Street by Chika Unigwe (Nigeria) Jonathan Cape Ltd, July 2009
An Elegy for Easterly by Petina Gappah (Zimbabwe), Faber & Faber, April 2009
Wanjira by Wambui B. Githoiora (Kenya) Dog Ear Publishing LLC, Feb 2008

AFRICA: Of the five short stories on the shortlist for this year's Caine Prize for African Writing are "How Shall We Kill the Bishop" by Lily Mabura (Kenya), "Muzungu" by Namwali Serpell (Zambia), and "Soulmates" by Alex Smith (South Africa). The Caine Prize is often referred as the "African Booker" prize, as it is named in honor of the late chairman of Booker plc, and is one of the continent's leading literary awards. The prize is awarded annually to the best short story published by an African writer in English; the winner receives £10,000 and is given the opportunity to spend a month as a visiting scholar at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. The winner and the entire shortlist can be seen on the prize's website. The anthology Life in Full: The Caine Prize for African Writing 2010

Photo of Adaobi Tricia UnwaubaniPhoto of Kopano Matlwa AFRICA: The Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature was established in 2005 in honor of Africa's first Nobel Laureate in Literature and was first awarded in 2006. The prize of $20,000 (US) is awarded every other year. Two of the three winners this year are: Nigerian author Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani for her novel, I Do Not come to You by Chance (far right photo), and South African author Kopano Matlwa for her novel, Coconut (left photo).

AUSTRALIA: The shortlist for the Miles Franklin Literary Award included The Book of Emmett by Deborah Foster and Butterfly by Sonia Hartnett. The winner, Peter Temple, was announced in June. Complete information can be found at the Trust's website.

IRELAND. The International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award has, once again, not been awarded to a woman. The last woman to win the highly lucrative prize was British author Nicola Barker in 2000. Herta Müller won in 1998. More information can be found on the award's website

Photo of Shandi Mitchell JAPAN: Akiko Akazome wins the 143rd Akutagawa Prize for emerging authors with her work, "Otome no Mikkoku" (The Anonymous Tip of a Virgin) and Kyoko Nakajima won the 143rd Naoki Prize for popular fiction for her work, Chiisaid O-Uchi (Small Home). The winners are awarded one million yen each and a commemorative watch. For a full report, here is an article in The Mainichi Daily News.

CANADA: Several awards were given out at the Atlantic Book Awards and Festival in Nova Scotia in April. "Nova Scotia's Shandi Mitchell was arguably the biggest winner of the evening, taking home both the prestigious Margaret and John Savage First Book Award and the 20th anniversary Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction Prize for her debut novel Under This Unbroken Sky, a devastating but beautifully evocative story of Ukrainian immigrant farmers on the Canadian prairies in the 1930s." Several others were nominated for these awards, including fellow Nova Scotian Binnie Brennan for her book, Harbour View.

Photo of Marie NDiaye FRANCE: The 2009 Prix Goncourt, awarded to the author of "the best and most imaginative prose work of the year," went to Marie NDiaye for her novel, Trois femmes puissantes. A novelist and playwright, NDiaye published her first novel at the age of 17 and won the Prix Femina in 2001 for her novel Rosie Carpe. In the Prix Goncourt's 106 year history, only a handful of the winning authors have been women. Visit the Académie Goncourt's website here

NEW ZEALAND: On this year's shortlist for the New Zealand Post Books Awards is Alison Wong for her novel, As the Earth Turns Silver and Fiona Farrell for her novel, Limestone (reviewed in this issue). The New Zealand Post Book Awards celebrate excellence, identifying the very best books written by New Zealanders. The winner will recieve $10,000. The awards, formerly known under several different names, most recently as the Montana New Zealand Book Awards (1996-2009).

Photo of Anna Taylor NEW ZEALAND: The winner of The New Zealand Society of Authors Hubert Church Best First Book Award is Wellington writer Anna Taylor for her book, Relief. Women were also winners in the poetry and nonfiction categories. Each winner recieves $2,500.

UNITED KINGDOM: A. S. Byatt has won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction for her novel, The Children's Book. Founded in 1919, the awards are the oldest literary awards in the UK. Two prizes, each of £10,000, are awarded annually by the University of Edinburgh for the best work of fiction and the best biography published in the previous year. Also on the shortlist were Anita Brookner's novel Strangers and Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall.

UNITED KINGDOM: US author Barbara Kingsolver has won the 2010 Orange Prize for Fiction for her novel The Lacuna. The winner of the Orange Prize for New Writers 2010 is Irene Sabatini for her novel, The Boy Next Door. Also on the new writer shortlist are The Book of Fires by Jane Borodale, and After the Fire, a Still Small Voice by Evie Wyld.
For more information on any of these awards or the winners, visit the award's website at

UNITED KINGDOM: Helen Oyeyemi is one of three winners of the 2010 Somerset Maugham Award. The award, which was established in 1947 by Somerset Maugham, is given each May by the Society of Authors to those they judge to be the best writer or writers under the age of thirty-five of a book published in the previous year. Oyeyemi won with her novel White is for Witching. Intended to be used for foreign travel, the award of £12,000 is shared among the winners. The other winners this year were Ben Wilson and Jacob Polley.

Book Cover: The Blide Side of the Heart Book Cover: The Housekeeper and the Professor Book Cover: Thursday Night Widows UNITED KINGDOM: Established by the British newspaper The Independent, The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize is awarded for fiction in translation in the United Kingdom. Of the 15 books selected for this year's longlist, included are The Blind Side of the Heart by Julia Franck (Germany), The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa (Japan), and Thursday Night Widows by Claudia Piñeiro (Argentina). Franck's novel went on to be included in the shortlist of six. The award, which was announced in May, was won by French novelist Phillippe Claudel.

Photo of Karen Joy Fowler UNITED KINGDOM: The new Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction has been awarded to Hilary Mantel for her novel Wolf Hall. Established by the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch, the £25,000 Scottish prize was awarded for the first time this year. Included also on this year's shortlist is Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant. Read about the award in this June article from

UNITED STATES: Karen Joy Fowler has won the Shirley Jackson Award in the short story category for her story "The Pelican Bar". Ms. Fowler is perhaps best known for her novels Sarah Canary and The Jane Austen Book Club. The SJA is a juried award given in recognition of the legacy of Shirley Jackson's writing and awards for outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic. For more information on the award or author Shirley Jackson, please visit the award's website.

Photo of Brigid Pasulka UNITED STATES: Brigid Pasulka has won the 2010 PEN/Hemingway Foundation Award for her collection of short stories, A Long Long Time Ago and Essentially True. The awards are given for a novel or book of short fiction by an American author who has not previously published a book of fiction. The winner receives $8,000 and a one-week residency in The Distinguished Visiting Writers Series at the University of Idaho's MFA Program in Creative Writing. C. E. Morgan was also a finalist for her collection, All the Living; honorable mentions went to Mary Beth Keane for The Walking People and Lydia Peelle for Reasons for and Advantages of Breathing.