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Ingrid Persaud Wins 2017 Commonwealth Writers Prize With A Story of Death and Chocolate

Ingrid Persaud reaps Commonwealth Prize with 'Sweet Sop'

Ingrid Persaud’s story of death, chocolate and fathers and sons proved sweet enough to earn the 2017 Commonwealth Writers Short Story Prize. ‘Sweet Sop’ was the Trinidadian writer debut short story marking her successful transition from law and academia into the fine arts and now writing.

Since she first penned ‘Sweet Sop’ Persaud has had her writing published in several magazines and in 2014 published her first novel If I Never Went Home

In a short release posted on the Commonwealth Writers website, cites novelist Kamila Shamsie, Chair of the judging panel as remarking that the judges were impressed by the story’s originality, the strength of its characterisation as well as its humour and emotional punch. 

“It loses none of its effectiveness on a second or third or fourth re-reading, always the mark of a rich and layered story.” Ms. Shamsie said.

Also according to the release, ‘Sweet Sop’ had been influenced by terminal illness and the recent deaths of close family members, as well as the real story of murder by regularly feeding the victim poisoned Belgian chocolates. 

The winner of the 2017 Commonwealth Writers Prize was presented on June 30, 2017, at The Arts House, which was Singapore’s first Parliament House, by Ms. Catherine Lim, Singapore’s most prolific writer of fiction in English.

The other regional winners of 2017 were: Akwaeke Emezi’s ‘Who is Like God’, Anushka Jasraj’s ‘Drawing Lessons’, Tracy Fells’ ‘The Naming of Moths’, and Nat Newman’s ‘The Death of Margaret Roe’.

All regional winners have been published by Granta Online.