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The Exclusive Books Boeke Prize: Winners Announced!

The Boeke Prize is Exclusive Books’ cheeky riff on the famous Man Booker Prize – and the winners have just been announced! Unlike the often obscure and inaccesbile titles chosen for the Man Booker Dozen, our booksellers pick the books that have been selling through word of mouth and generating their own buzz without any additional marketing.

After weeks of deliberation by our customers and selected judges, the winners of the Boeke Prize are… drumroll… When God Was A Rabbit by Sara Winman, which scored the Judge’s Prize, a wonderful accolade for this debut author. Deon Meyer’s Thirteen Hours scooped up the Reader’s Choice Award. Set in Cape Town, this book was shortlisted for the CWA International Dagger Award 2010 and won a Barry Award in the USA.

We would like to thank everyone who voted for their favourite. All of the Boeke shortlisted titles will make stunning gifts, and are all available here.


BOEKE 2011 – a celebration of the eight best must-reads of the past year. Exclusive Books has announced the shortlist for the ever-popular 2011 Boeke Prize, with the winner to be announced on 6th of October 2011.


This prize always starts a heated debate and much discussion amongst South African leading publishers, book lovers, media and Fanatics members acrossSouth Africa. How does one decide what has been the best read of the year? With eight fantastic books to choose from in 2011, debate will definitely be heated and the decision almost impossible to make.


This year’s finalists are:


A panel of 40 judges from the South African media will select their favourite read from the list of eight titles. The books are evaluated on their plot, originality and all the qualities that separates good books from great ones. Each judge will be looking for that indefinable quality that will make one book stand out amongst these fantastic titles.

The Boeke Prize first began in 1995 as a tongue-in-cheek take on the celebrated British Man Booker Prize. Our South African Boeke Award celebrates top English fiction published in the preceding year, whereas the Man Booker Prize is an extremely prestigious competition for relatively obscure books that are often seen as very literary and difficult to read. The winning book can also be rather controversial, with strict criteria being applied in the last few years. The South African Boeke gently pokes fun at this while at the same time a celebration of literature.

This year, our local publishers submitted the books that currently have the largest word-of-mouth appeal. The Exclusive Books’ booksellers then narrow the list down to between six and eight titles, according to the demand in-store, which titles are receiving glowing reviews, and which books are most talked about. There are two winners selected at the end of the promotion: a Judge’s Choice and a Reader’s Choice, both of which will be announced at the Boeke Prize 2011 breakfast hosted by Exclusive Books in October.

“We are so excited for this year’s campaign,” says Rene Brophy, Marketing and Publicity Manager. “Each title is brilliant, and there is something for everyone. The Boeke Prize represents what Exclusive Books is all about; the light-hearted, wonderful sharing and celebration of literature.”


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