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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 a writer, literary journalist, former academic, and Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. A judge for the 2019 Gerald Kraak Award, he is an editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective which has published two volumes: WE ARE FLOWERS and THE INWARD GAZE. He is the curator of ART NAIJA SERIES, a sequence of themed e-anthologies of writing and visual art exploring different aspects of Nigerianness: ENTER NAIJA: THE BOOK OF PLACES (October, 2016) focuses on cities in Nigeria; WORK NAIJA: THE BOOK OF VOCATIONS (June, 2017) focuses on professions in Nigeria. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition, and has been shortlisted for the Miles Morland Writing Scholarship and the Gerald Kraak Award, both in 2016, and a Pushcart Prize in 2015. He attended the 2018 Miles Morland Foundation Creative Writing Workshop. He has completed a collection of short stories, YOU SING OF A LONGING, and is working on a novel. He is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. He combined history and literature at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and taught English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. When bored, the boy just Googles Rihanna. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts editing and writing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze.

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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