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Some of the winners of the 2017 PEN America awards have been announced and, to our delight, they include Helen Oyeyemi, Angela Ajayi and Grace Oluseyi.

Helen Oyeyemi’s collection of stories, What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours, won the $5,000 PEN Open Book Award, given “for an exceptional book-length work of literature by an author of color published in 2016.”

We covered Aaron Bady’s review of it here.

Angela Ajayi and Grace Oluseyi were among the winners of the $2,000-each PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers, awarded “to recognize 12 emerging fiction writers for their debut short story published in 2016.” Angela Ajayi’s story, “Galina,” published in Fifth Wednesday Journal, is an immersive study of the sense of loss in a daughter’s relationship with her mother. Grace Oluseyi’s “A Modern Marriage,” out in Boston Review, is a neat stitch of a girl’s relationship with, and eventual marriage to, her academic superior in the US who she later discovers is already married in Nigeria.

A few of the awards, including the $75,000 PEN/Jean Stein Book Award given “to recognize a book-length work of any genre for its originality, merit, and impact” for which Teju Cole’s Known and Strange Things is shortlisted, will be announced on March 27.

We congratulate Helen Oyeyemi, Angela Ajayi and Grace Oluseyi!

Read Grace Oluseyi’s “A Modern Marriage” in Boston Review.

See the full list of winners here.

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Post image by Ubud Writers & Readers Festival via Flickr

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About Otosirieze Obi-Young

View all posts by Otosirieze Obi-Young
Otosirieze Obi-Young was shortlisted for the 2016 Miles Morland Writing Scholarship. His first published story, “A Tenderer Blessing,” appears in Transition and was nominated for a 2015 Pushcart Prize. His second story, "Mulumba," appears in The Threepenny Review and has been translated into the German. His story, "You Sing of a Longing," is currently on the 2016 Gerald Kraak Award shortlist and is forthcoming in an anthology by Jacana Literary Foundation and The Other Foundation. His essays appear in Interdisciplinary Academic Essays and Brittle Paper where he is Submissions Editor. He edited Enter Naija—The Book of Places, an anthology of writing, photography and digital art about places in Nigeria created to mark Nigeria’s 56th Independence anniversary. Otosirieze teaches English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. When bored, he blogs popular culture at naijakulture.blogspot.com or just Googles Rihanna. He is currently looking for an agent for his short story collection.

One Response to “Helen Oyeyemi, Angela Ajayi and Grace Oluseyi Win 2017 PEN America Awards” Subscribe

  1. Kthanxbye 2017/03/14 at 13:46 #

    Grace Oluseyi’s story in the Boston Review was the best story I’ve read in a loooong time. The woman can write. Ahn-ahn. Can’t wait to read more from her.

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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