So no surprises there, really.
The shocker though is that the judges, unanimous in their decision decided to go straight to the announcement, without bothering with a shortlist.
The reason :
With a unanimous winner at this early stage, we decided it would be a sham to compose a shortlist and put five other writers through unnecessary stress and suspense. Not only were the jury unanimous in their choice of Lahiri’s Unaccustomed Earth as the winner, they were unanimous in their belief that so outstanding was Lahiri’s achievement in this book that no other title was a serious contender.Nicholas Lezard on the Guardian blog calls it :
... the unpardonable sin of failing to cater for that section of the literary public - and indeed the non-literary public - that likes a flutter.And I have to agree. The whole point of literary awards is the exposure that they bring to new writing and often hitherto unheard of authors. Cut out the shortlist and you cut out a lot of potential publicity, not to mention a lot of fun for the reader. In other words, perlease bring on the sham!!
But looking on the bright side, Wena can now at least put a sticker on her book saying "nominated for ..." and in that sense stand proudly alongside authors like Anne Enright and Roddy Doyle.
Now to rush out to buy Unaccustomed Earth which just has to be that good!