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2016 Gratiaen Prize - Shortlisted Authors


Jean Arasanayagam

She is one of Sri Lanka’s most prolific and foremost international writers. She has published fiction, poetry, drama and creative non-fiction and has approximately 50 books to her name andher writing has been translated to Danish, Swedish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Sinhala and Tamil. She has been international writer in residence at the University of Exeter, International Writer at the Rockefeller Centre, Bellagio, International Writer in Iowa and has presented her work and held book launches in India and Europe. Arasanayagam received a Doctor of Letters awarded by Bowdoin College, Maine and the Premchand Award granted by the Sahitya Akademi India.

Rizvina Morseth de Alwis

Her first novel It’s not in the Stars won the first ever Fairway National Literary Award in 2015 and the State Literary Award in 2016. The Memory of Loss is her second novel. As an unpublished manuscript It’s not in the Stars was also shortlisted for the Gratiaen Prize in 2012. She received her MSc in Gender and Development from the London School of Economics and has a Bachelor´s degree in English Literature from the University of Peradeniya. She is a part-time writer and a full-time development professional with nearly twenty five years of experience in the field of gender and development. She works for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and is currently based in DPR Korea as the UNFPA Country Representative.

Shehan Karunatilaka

He was born in Galle and raised in Colombo. He writes advertisements, articles, stories and songs. His debut novel, Chinaman: The Legend of Pradeep Mathew was published to acclaim in India, the UK and the US, and won the 2008 Gratiaen Prize, the 2012 Commonwealth Book Prize, the 2012 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature and was selected as one of the of 2011´s top debuts by Waterstones UK. He lives in Colombo, where he is busy with a second child and a third book.

Charulatha Abeysekara Thewarathanthri

She is a happy home-maker to her wonderful and moving family: mother, mother-in-law, husband, four kids and dog. Moving between countries in Africa, multicultural exposure has enriched her world and the easy gypsy life provides quality time to indulge in hobbies - writing and movies are favourites, being a child of parents who were involved in the creative arts. Educated at Visakha Vidyalaya, she taught Mathematics and Physics to A/L students for nine years, first at British School in Colombo and then St. Thomas’ College, Mt. Lavinia, after graduating in Civil Engineering from the University of Moratuwa. Her first novel, Autumn Leaves, was shortlisted for the Gratiaen Prize, 2011.

Vivimarie Vander Poorten

Her first collection of poems ‘nothing prepares you’ won the 2007 Gratiaen Prize and her second collection ‘Stitch your Eyelids Shut’ was the joint winner of the State Literary Prize for English Poetry in 2010. 'Borrowed Dust' is her third collection of poetry. Vivimarie studied English literature at the University of Kelaniya and later obtained an MA in Applied Linguistics and a PhD in Educational sociolinguistics from the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland, UK. She is currently a senior lecturer in English at the Open University of Sri Lanka. Her poetry has recently been published in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

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