Manu Joseph's debut novel SERIOUS MEN is on the shortlist in the South Asia and Europe category for the Common Wealth Writers First Book Prize 2011. Now in its 25th year, the Commonwealth Writers Prize is supported by the Macquarie Group Foundation and a previous winner in this category includes Zadie Smith, author of WHITE TEETH. The shortlist includes novels by Anjali Joseph, Lisa Hilton, Max Shaefer and Emma Henderson. The regional winners are to be announced on 3 March, and the final Commonwealth Writers Prize, bringing together the finalists from the four different regions of the Commonwealth, will be announced 21 May at the Sydney Writer's Festival.
SERIOUS MEN has received wide acclaim since its publication in the UK by John Murray in 2010. It is the winner of the Hindu Best Fiction Award 2010, listed as one of Huffington Post's Best Books 2010, chosen by The Telegraph as one of their 2010 'First Novels to Savour' and was a New York Times 'Editor's Choice'. Rights have been sold in Canada (HarperCollins), India (HarperCollins), US (W.W. Norton), Denmark (Thaning & Appel), France (Phillipe Rey), Germany (Klett Cotta), Holland (Podium), Italy (Edizioni Dedalo), Serbia (Laguna) and Spain (El Aleph).
Praise for SERIOUS MEN:
'The finest comic novelists know that a small world can illuminate a culture and an age. With this funny-sad debut, Joseph does just that for surging, fractious India.' -- Boyd Tonkin, Independent
'Manu Joseph shows how petty jealousies in India can motivate and divide as surely as major societal differences. His skills as a writer are tremendous - he invests even the most ordinary interactions with keenly observed human quirks, and almost every sentence is a joy to read for its ingeniously constructed language. This is a compellingly entertaining novel - witty, subversive, extraordinarily perceptive, deliciously wicked.' -- Manil Suri, author of THE DEATH OF VISHNU
'This ambitious debut cleverly weaves diverging plots of love, knowledge, class, and ambition…Joseph's finely portrayed characters exude wit and warmth in this engaging and introspective tale.' -- Leah Strauss, Booklist