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The longlist for the much-awaited 2016 edition of the Etisalat Prize for Literature has been announced, and we are delighted to share it with you. Of the nine authors, 6 are South Africans, 3 are Nigerians.

The prize is awarded to the best debut African fiction. The winner takes home 15,000 pounds and a fellowship at the University of East Anglia to study creative writing. 

This year’s judging panel, headed by Nigerian novelist Helon Habila, includes South African writer/activist Elinor Sisulu, and Ivorian writer Edwige Rene Dro. 

The shortlist of three authors will be announced in December.

The most exciting part of this list is that one of the shortlisted writers Jen Thorpe is a Brittle Paper writer. We’ve published a few of her poems in the last couple of years. You can read them here. Congrats to Jen! We are definitely rooting for her.

Etisalat Prize for Literature Longlist 2016

Julie Iromuanya (Nigerian) — Mr. and Mrs. Doctor (Coffee House Press, USA),

Mohale Mashigo  (South Africa) — The Yearning (PanMacmillan, South Africa),

Nakhane Toure (South Africa) — Piggy Boy’s Blues (Blackbird Books imprint of Jacana Media, SA),

Jen Thorpe (South Africa) — The Peculiars (Penguin Random House, USA),

Elnathan John (Nigeria) —  on a Tuesday (Cassava Republic, Nigeria),

Jowhor Ile (Nigeria) — And After Many Days  (Farafina an imprint of Kachifo Limited, Nigeria),

Andrew Miller (South Africa)— Dub Steps  (Jacana Media, South Africa),

Jacqui L’Ange (South Africa) — The Seed Thief (Umuzi Publishers, South Africa)

Unathi Magubeni (South Africa) — Nwezelenga: The Star Child (Black Bird Books Imprint of Jacana Media, South Africa).

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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.

5 Responses to “2016 Etisalat Prize for Literature Longlist Announced” Subscribe

  1. Debbie Rodgers @Exurbanis 2016/11/16 at 17:43 #

    Thanks so much for posting this list. I’m a relative newcomer to African fiction and look forward to the short list to add to my TBR!

  2. Susan 2016/11/16 at 18:07 #

    I’m curious about why the majority of writers are South African, followed by Nigerian writers — with no other countries represented. Any thoughts?

  3. Otosirieze 2016/11/17 at 03:34 #

    Because those, plus Kenya and Zimbabwe and Ghana, are the powerhouses of African writing. Same way American works dominate global prizes, and British and Australian and Indian works dominated the original Booker Prize when it was still a Commonwealth of Nations affair. Last year’s winner, though, is Congo’s Fiston Mujila. We hope the output will be more evenly spread soon.

  4. John 2016/11/17 at 03:44 #

    Yeah, I asked myself the same question as Susan – 54 countries and only two that came through on the long-list? Where are the Ghanaians, Kenyans and Cameroonians? How about the non-anglophones? I understand even the long-long list was only from these two countries.

  5. Otosirieze 2016/11/17 at 03:46 #

    Anglophone African writing, that is. But the broader truth is that almost every country on the continent, Anglo- or Franco- or Lusophone, has at least one literary bigwig.

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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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