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2011 Longlist

The 2011 Warwick Prize for Writing longlist was announced on 30 November 2010 - you can see the longlisted books below. The shortlist of six will be announced on Friday 11 February 2011.

In this video, Professor Jeremy Treglown, Director of the Warwick Prize for Writing talks about this year's prize.
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. READ MORE

Mark Bradley
Colour and Meaning in Ancient Rome

Cambridge University Press

The study of colour has become familiar territory in recent anthropology, linguistics, art history and archaeology. Classicists, however, have traditionally subordinated the study of colour to form. By drawing together evidence from contemporary philosophers, elegists, epicwriters, historians and satirists, Mark Bradley reinstates colour as an essential informative unit for the classification and evaluation of the Roman world. READ MORE

Jasper Fforde
Shades of Grey

Hodder & Stoughton

Imagine a black and white world where colour is a commodity. Where the colours you see dictate your status, your career, your fate. And where life must be lived according to the Rulebook. Welcome to Chromatacia, and a new series by the bestselling creative and comic genius Jasper Fforde. READ MORE

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. READ MORE

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. READ MORE

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. READ MORE

Rachel Polonsky
Molotov's Magic Lantern

Faber & Faber

A luminous, original and unforgettable exploration of a country and its literature, viewed through the eyes of Vyacheslav Molotov, one of Stalin’s fiercest henchmen. READ MORE

Lisa Robertson
Lisa Robertson's Magenta Soul Whip

Coach House Books

Lisa Robertson writes poems that mine the past — its ideas, its personages, its syntax — to construct a lexicon of the future. Her poems both court and cuckold subjectivity by unmasking its fundament of sex and hesitancy, the coil of doubt in its certitude. Reading her laments and utopias, we realise that language — whiplike — casts ahead of itself a fortuitous form.


Iain Sinclair
Hackney, That Rose Red Empire

Hamish Hamilton

Hackney, That Rose-Red Empire is Iain Sinclair’s personal record of the area of north-east London where he has lived for forty years. It is a documentary fiction, seeking to capture the spirit of place, before Hackney succumbs to mendacious green papers, eco boasts, sponsored public art and the Olympic Park gnawing at its edges. It is a message in a bottle, chucked into the flood of the future. READ MORE

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. READ MORE

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. READ MORE