The longlist for the Booker Prize was announced last week, and we are so delighted that there are two Africans on the list of twelve.
The Moor’s Account is a historical novel following the adventures of a Moroccan explorer and comes highly recommended by critics. Last week, Lalami called out The Guardian for ignoring her African identity by writing that Obioma was “the sole African writer” on the list.
I am African. It’s an identity I’m often denied but that I will always insist upon.
— Laila Lalami (@LailaLalami) July 29, 2015
Kudos to Lalami for this—especially at a time when it has become fashionable for authors to disavow their African identity.
As for Obioma, he made the list thanks to his debut novel The Fishermen, a modern-day parable exploring family bond.
At 29, Obioma is the youngest nominee on this year’s Man Booker Prize longlist.
When he received the news of his nomination, he gave a shout out to his literary agent and publishing company in the following tweet:
All praise to my WONDERFUL Elena Lappin and Jessica Craig for the realization of an impossible dream!! — Chigozie Obioma (@ChigozieObioma) July 29, 2015
Congrats to Lalami and Obioma! Hope they make it through to the shortlist. The much anticipated shortlist is set for September 15. Until them, read our review of The Fishermen HERE and Lalami’s advice for writers HERE.