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Top international literary prizes of 2011

books Updated: Dec 12, 2011 09:30 IST
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This year saw a smorgasbord of writing taking home the coveted literary prizes. From awards for most enjoyable books to most outstanding work of fiction, check out who took home this year's literary prizes.

40th Costa Book Award: Jo Shapcott for Of Mutability

January 4/24

London, UK

Launched in 1971, the Costa Book Awards are given to authors based in the UK and Ireland for what are deemed the "most enjoyable books of the year." Winners are chosen in five categories (January 4), and an overall winner (January 24) is named Costa Book of the Year - an honor that went to Jo Shapcott's poetry collection Of Mutability in 2011.

37th National Book Critics Circle Award: Jennifer Egan for A Visit From the Good Squad

March 8

New York City, USA

Founded in 1974, the National Book Critics Circle Award is open to all books published in the US in English, including translations. Last year's fiction winner was Jennifer Egan's A Visit From the Good Squad. NBCC winners in autobiography, biography, criticism, fiction, and nonfiction are selected by more than 600 US literary critics.

PHOTOS: Top international literary prizes of 2011

5th Man Asian Literary Prize: Bi Feiyu for Three Sisters.

March 15

Hong Kong, China

The Man Asian Prize was established in 2007 to bring Asian authors to worldwide literary attention. The prize was previously awarded to an Asian writer for a novel that had not yet been published in English; since 2011, it goes to the best Asian novel that was written in English or translated into English in the previous calendar year. Bi Feiyu won the 2010 award (presented in 2011) for his novel Three Sisters.

32st PEN/Faulkner Awards: Deborah Eisenberg for The Collected Stories of Deborah Eisenberg

Early spring

Washington DC, USA

Awarded since 1981, the PEN/Faulkner Award is one of the US's most prestigious literary prizes alongside the Pulitzer and the National Book Award, honoring the best works of fiction by American citizens. Deborah Eisenberg's The Collected Stories of Deborah Eisenberg won in 2011. Each year's winner receives $15,000, while each of four finalists receives $5,000.

86th Pulitzer Prize for Fiction: Jennifer Egan for A Visit from the Goon Squad


New York City, USA

The Pulitzer Prize for Fiction has been awarded since 1918 (then called the Pulitzer Prize for the Novel), honoring distinguished fiction by American authors. To be eligible, a work must be entered with a $50 entry fee. Recent winners include Jennifer Egan's A Visit from the Goon Squad (2011.

17th Orange Prize for Fiction: Téa Obreht for The Tiger's Wife

May 30

London, UK

The Orange Prize for Fiction, founded in 1996 and often grouped with the Costa Book Awards and the Man Booker Prize as part of the trinity of major UK book awards, is awarded to a female author of any nationality for a full-length novel written in English. Serbian/American author Téa Obreht won the 2011 Orange Prize for Fiction with her debut novel The Tiger's Wife.

17th International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award: Column McCann for Let the Great World Spin

June 13

Dublin, Ireland

Begin in 1996 and open to novels published in English including translations, the IMPAC Award is the most valuable literary prize (€100,000) for a single work of fiction published in English. Its other unique feature: nominations come from public libraries around the world. Column McCann's Let the Great World Spin was honored in 2011.

112th Nobel Prize in Literature: Tomas Tranströmer


Stockholm, Sweden

The Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded annually since 1901 to an author from any country who has, in the words of Alfred Nobel, produced "in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction." The 2011 Nobel Prize in Literature went to Swedish writer Tomas Tranströmer.

44th Man Booker Prize: Julian Barnes for The Sense of an Ending

October 16

London, UK

The Man Booker Prize, founded in 1968 and now one of the English-speaking world's most discussed literary prizes, selects the best novel by a citizen of the British Commonwealth, Ireland, or Zimbabwe. Julian Barnes won in 2011 for his novel The Sense of an Ending. "The Booker Dozen" -- the much-discussed longlist -- will be revealed in July 2012.

37th Premio Miguel de Cervantes: Nicanor Parra


Madrid, Spain

Since 1976, the Premio Miguel de Cervantes has recognized the lifetime achievement of Spanish-language writers, with the winner's origin traditionally alternating between Spain and Latin America. Chilean poet Nicanor Parra won in 2011.

63nd National Book Awards: Jesmyn Ward for Salvage the Bones.


New York City, USA

The National Book Awards have recognized excellence in American writing since 1950, with awards in the categories of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and young people's literature. The 2011 fiction winner was Jesmyn Ward's Salvage the Bones.