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Gratiaen Prize 2016 – Judging Panel


Carmen Wickramagamage - Chairperson

Carmen Wickramagamage is Professor in English and, currently, Head of the Department of English at the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. She holds a PhD in English from the University of Hawaii, USA, for her work on exploring the uneasy alliances between postcolonial theory, feminism and ‘Third World’ women writers. She counts among her publications essays and articles on literature produced in postcolonial spaces and on themes relating to these spaces. In addition to writing on literature in English, she also translates from Sinhala into English. Her translation of a Sinhala novel into English, Sunethra Rajakarunanayake’s Podu Purushaya translated into English as Metta, won the State Literary Award for the Best Translation of a Work of Fiction into English.

Andrew Fowler-Watt

Andrew Fowler-Watt was born and educated in the UK. He won scholarships to Eton College and St John’s College, Cambridge, where he read English Literature and was a Choral Scholar. Andrew has taught English Literature at three leading Independent Schools in the UK. He was also actively involved in Drama. He was a professional singer, performing extensively in leading Concert Halls and Cathedrals both in the UK and overseas.

After 25 years of teaching and School Leadership in the UK, Andrew decided to move overseas and first came to Sri Lanka in 2007, where Andrew was Principal first of CIS and then of The British School. In 2011 he moved to Brunei before returning to the UK to become Academic Director of EduReach. However, he missed running a school (and Sri Lanka!) and was therefore delighted when the opportunity arose to return to the country in January 2016 as Principal of Trinity College, Kandy. In his spare time, Andrew enjoys Theatre, Film and Music; a wide variety of Sports; and (fortunately, given his role as a Gratiaen Prize judge!) he is an avid reader of modern fiction.

Michelle de Kretser

Michelle de Kretser was born in Colombo and lived there until she was fourteen, when her family migrated to Australia. She holds an MA in French literature from the Université de Paris III. Michelle has been a tutor in the English Department at the University of Melbourne and is currently an honorary associate in the English Department at the University of Sydney. She has judged several literary prizes, including the Commonwealth Short Story Prize, and her book reviews and literary criticism appear in a range of publications.

Michelle is the author of five novels, the most recent of which is The Life to Come. Her fiction, which is published across the English-speaking world and in translation, has won numerous awards. She lives in Sydney with her partner, the poet and translator Chris Andrews.

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