The overall Commonwealth Writers Prize this year went to British-Indian author Rana Dasgupta for his novel Solo which recounts the life and daydreams of Ulrich, a one hundred year-old blind man from Bulgaria.
According to the Commonwealth Foundation website :
The judges chose Solo for its innovation, ambition, courage and effortlessly elegant prose. A remarkable novel of two halves, this is a book that takes risks and examines the places where grim reality and fantastical daydreams merge, diverge, and feed off each other. Solo, the judges concluded, is a tour de force, breathtaking in its boldness and narrative panache.(Read a review here on the Guardian website.)
The first book award went to Australian author Glenda Guest for Siddon Rock which the judges praised for its :
... rich cast of odd characters and blending of the everyday with fantasy. Behind every door in town lurk secret desires and wild imaginings. The novel, they concluded, deftly delves into the hauntings and disjunctions of settler Australia, and in its fable-like quality captures the laconic mannerisms of the Australian outback.