Awarded by the Gratiaen Trust – A 25-year journey with Lankan literature
The shortlist has been announced for the Gratiaen Prize 2017. The Gratiaen Prize is awarded each year to the best submitted creative work in English, written by a Sri Lankan writer resident in Sri Lanka. Both published works and unpublished manuscripts are accepted as submissions to the Prize, founded by Michael Ondaatje. The Gratiaen Prize 2017 is the third to be awarded under a new partnership between the Gratiaen Trust and Sarasavi Bookshop. This year also marks the silver jubilee of the prize which has been awarded without a break for 25 years.
The shortlist announcement took place on Monday 2 April, hosted by the British Council, as this event has been since the inception of the Prize and the MARGA Institute facilitated the submission of entries to the prize, as has been the practice for many years.
Each year, the Gratiaen shortlist is known to the judges alone until the evening of the announcement. Authors learn of their selection at the event, where selected passages of their submissions are read to the assembled audience.
The shortlisted works for the Gratiaen Prize 2017 are:
1. The Life of the Poet – Jean Arasanayagam
2. A House down Queer Street – Neshantha Harischandra
3. Names and Numbers – Chiranthi Rajapakse
4. The Line of Lanka – Sunela Jayewardene
The judges for the Gratiaen Prize 2017 are: Prof. Carmen Wickramagamage, Professor in English at the University of Peradeniya (chair); Andrew Fowler-Watt, principal of Trinity College Kandy and highly experienced educationist; and Michelle de Kretser, renowned Australian author of Sri Lankan origin.
The winner of The Gratiaen Prize 2017 will be announced at a final awards ceremony, sponsored by Sarasavi Bookshop Private limited, held in May.