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2011 Shortlist


The 2011 Warwick Prize for Writing shortlist was announced on Friday 11 February 2011. The books on the shortlist are as follows:

Nadeem Aslam
The Wasted Vigil

Faber & Faber

A Russian woman Lara, arrives in Afghanistan at the house of English widower Marcus Caldwell searching for clues about her brother’s disappearance. In the days that follow, she is joined by two Americans, a young Afghan teacher, Dunia, and Casa, a radicalised young man. As their paths cross, it becomes apparent their stories are inextricably linked.

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The Wasted Vigil

Peter Forbes
Dazzled and Deceived: Mimicry and Camouflage

Yale University Press

In nature thousands of creatures have perfected the art of deception – butterflies, moths, fish, birds, insects and snakes imitate other animals or their surroundings to protect themselves, attract or repel, to bluff, warn and to hide. Dazzled and Deceived tells the unique and fascinating story of mimicry and camouflage in science, art and the natural world.

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Dazzled and Deceived

Aminatta Forna
The Memory of Love


Adrian Lockheart is a psychologist escaping his life in England. Arriving in Freetown in the wake of civil war, he struggles with the intensity of the heat, dirt and dust, and with the secrets this country hides. Despite the gulf of experience and understanding between them, Adrian finds unexpected friendship in a young surgeon at the hospital, the charismatic Kai Mansaray, and begins to build a new life just as Kai makes plans to leave.

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The Memory of Love

Peter D McDonald
The Literature Police: Apartheid Censorship and its Cultural Consequences

Oxford University Press

As the history of many repressive regimes shows, this vital borderline has seldom been so clearly demarcated. Just how murky it can sometimes be is compellingly exemplified in the case of apartheid South Africa. For reasons that were neither obvious nor historically inevitable, the apartheid censors were not only the agents of the white minority government's repressive anxieties about the medium of print. They were also officially-certified guardians of the literary. This book is centrally about the often unpredictable cultural consequences of this paradoxical situation.

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The Literature Police

Michael Taussig
What Color is the Sacred


What Color Is the Sacred? is a continuation of Taussig’s career-long critique of the politics of the West as well as an eclectic bounty of new writings, interpretations, stories, and images all brought together by his inimitably virtuosic, magpie intelligence.

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What Colour is the Sacred

Derek Walcott
White Egrets

Faber & Faber

In White Egrets, Derek Walcott treats his characteristic subjects, such as the Caribbean’s complex colonial legacy, the Western artistic tradition, the blessings and withholdings of old Europe, the unaccommodating sublime of the new world and the poet’s place in all of this — with a passionate intensity and drive that recall his greatest work.

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White Egrets