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The 9Mobile Prize for Literature has announced its 2017/18 longlist. Founded in 2013 as the Etisalat Prize for Literature, the £15,000 award is the first pan-African literary prize created to honour only debut books of fiction—novels or short story collections.

Here are the chosen titles.

  • What It Means When a Man Falls Down from the Sky, Lesley Nneka Arimah (Kachifo Limited)
  • Like it Matters, David Cornwell (Penguin Random House)
  • Radio Sunrise, Anietie Isong (Jacaranda Books)
  • Taduno’s Song, Odafe Atogun (Canongate Books)
  • The Printmaker, Bronwyn Law-Viljoen (Penguin Random House)
  • Stay with Me, Ayobami Adebayo (Canongate Books)
  • Being Kari, Qarnita Loxton (Kwela Books)
  • Asylum, Marcus Low (Picador Africa)
  • A Casualty of Power, Mukuka Chipanta (Weaver Press)

The judges are: Harry Garuba, who is the chair; Doreen Baingana; and Siphiwo Mahala. Here are Garuba’s comments on their choices:

The entries range through a variety of themes and preoccupations that mirror the expanse and diversity of the continent. The care and craft that the authors bring to the exploration of their chosen themes show a level of skill and artistry not often found in first works of fiction. These works give us a glimpse of the exciting literary landscapes ahead for African fiction.

The winner will be announced at the prize ceremony in 2018, and will, in addition to £15,000, receive an engraved Montblanc Meisterstück pen and a sponsored fellowship at the University of East Anglia, where they will be mentored by Professor Giles Foden, author of The Last King of Scotland.

In addition to 9Mobile purchasing 1,000 copies of each of the shortlisted books for distribution to schools, libraries and book clubs across the continent, all the finalists will further participate in a multi-city book tour.

Congratulations to the longlisted authors.

 

Otosirieze is deputy editor of Brittle Paper. He is a judge for the 2018/19 Gerald Kraak Prize. He is an editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective, which has published volumes including We Are Flowers (2017) and The Inward Gaze (2018). He is the curator of the Art Naija Series, a sequence of e-anthologies of writing and visual art focusing on different aspects of Nigerianness, including Enter Naija: The Book of Places (2016), which explores cities, and Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (2017), which explores professions. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition. He has completed a collection of short stories, You Sing of a Longing, is working on a novel, and is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. He combined English and History at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, is completing a postgraduate degree in African Studies, and taught English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts writing and editing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze. When bored, he Googles Rihanna.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Three Finalists – Lesley Nneka Arimah, Ayobami Adebayo and Marcus Low | Inspire Crib - 2018/02/07

    […] only debut books of fiction—novels or short story collections. The finalists were chosen from a nine-name longlist which also included: Like it Matters, by David Cornwell; Radio Sunrise, by Anietie […]

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