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NoViolet Bulawayo. Image from Etisalat.

NoViolet Bulawayo has been honoured with San Francisco State University’s 2018 Gina Berriault Award for Fiction. She received the Award in an April 9 event in the university themed “An Evening with NoViolet Bulawayo” and co-presented by 14 Hills Press.

Here is what she wrote on Facebook:

deeply honored to receive the Gina Berriault Award for Fiction by San Francisco State University Department of Creative Writing. i hope to read a bit from my new favorite book, America Is Not The Heart by Elaine Castillo. friends in the bay area, if you have nothing better to do tomorrow please come celebrate with me while i’m here.

It has been quite a while since we last heard from NoViolet. Her last publication is the short story “His Middle Name Was Not Jesus” (2016) in Granta, which made our best pieces of 2016 list. Late last year, though, the former Stegner Fellow at Stanford University was visible on social media advocating for Reading Zimbabwe, a digital initiative to promote knowledge in her country.

NoViolet, whose real name is Elizabeth Tshele, was shortlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize for her debut novel We Need New Names, making her the first black African woman and first Zimbabwean to be so honoured. The novel also received the Etisalat Prize for Literature, the Los Angeles Times‘ Art Seibendaum Award, and the Hemmingway Foundation/PEN Award.

Congratulations to NoViolet Bulawayo!

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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.

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