The OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature — which will be awarded for the first time this year — has announced its 2011 longlist of ten books, in three genre categories:
= Elegguas, by Kamau Brathwaite (Barbados) — Wesleyan
= A Light Song of Light, by Kei Miller (Jamaica) — Carcanet
= White Egrets, by Derek Walcott (St. Lucia) — Faber
= The Loneliness of Angels, by Myriam Chancy (Haiti/Canada) — Peepal Tree
= Redemption in Indigo, by Karen Lord (Barbados) — Small Beer
= The Amazing Absorbing Boy, by Rabindranath Maharaj (Trinidad and Tobago/Canada) — Knopf Canada
= How to Escape a Leper Colony, by Tiphanie Yanique (US Virgin Islands) — Graywolf
= Beauty and Sadness, by Andre Alexis (Trinidad and Tobago/Canada) — House of Anansi
= Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work, by Edwidge Danticat (Haiti/USA) — Princeton
= The Masque of Africa: Glimpses of African Belief, by V.S. Naipaul (Trinidad and Tobago/UK) — Picador
As I’ve mentioned before, your Antilles blogger is on the organising committee for the OCM Bocas Prize, so it gives me much satisfaction to report that we’ve reached this stage in the judging process. I’m also pleased it’s such a diverse list, with writers representing six Caribbean countries, and ranging from two Nobel laureates (Walcott and Naipaul, of course) to two debut authors (Lord and Yanique).
There’s more information about the longlist here, and full details of the prize here. The three genre category winners — making up the shortlist for the overall prize — will be announced on 28 March, and the OCM Bocas Prize ceremony will be one of the highlights of the Bocas Lit Fest at the end of April.