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Image from Alice’s Twitter.

Ghanaian-Canadian writer Esi Edugyan is on the longlist for the 2018 Man Booker Prize, for her third novel Washington Black. She was previously shortlisted for her bestselling second novel Half Blood Blues, which also made the Women’s Prize shortlist in 2012, making her the third African to be shortlisted for the Women’s Prize.

Forthcoming in September 2018, here is a description of Washington Black, from its publishers Penguin Random House:

Esi Edugyan. Image from Globe and Mail.

Born and raised in Canada to Ghanaian expat parents, Edugyan has creative writing degrees from the University of Victoria and Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars. Her debut novel, The Second Life of Samuel Tyne, published in 2004, was shortlisted for the 2005 Hurston-Wright Legacy Award. Her second novel, Half-Blood Blues, published in 2011, won an Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and the Scotiabank Giller Prize, and was shortlisted for Man Booker Prize, the Women’s Prize, the Walter Scott Prize, the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, and the Governor General’s Award for English language fiction. In 2014, Edugyan published her first work of non-fiction, Dreaming of Elsewhere: Observations on Home. In 2016, she was writer-in-residence at Athabasca University, Alberta. 

Professor Kwame Anthony Appiah.

Leading Ghanaian-American philosopher and cultural theorist Kwame Anthony Appiah is the chair of the 2018 judging panel. Appiah is a professor at New York University’s Department of Philosophy and the university’s School of Law. He was named by Foreign Policy on its 2010 list of top global thinkers and received the US National Humanities Medal in 2012. He has further received the 1993 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and the 1993 Herskovits Award of the African Studies Association for In My Father’s House; the 1997 Annual Book Award and the 1997 Ralph J. Bunche Award for Color Conscious; a 2007 Arthur Ross Book Award for Cosmopolitanism; The New York Times Book Review’s 100 Notable Books of 2010 and Times Literary Supplement’s Book of the Year 2010 recognitions for The Honor Code; and a 2011 New Jersey Council for the Humanities Book Award for The Honor Code, among others.

Other judges include crime writer Val McDermid, cultural critic Leo Robson, feminist writer and critic Jacqueline Rose, and artist and graphic novelist Leanne Shapton.

Here is the full longlist for the 2018 Man Booker Prize:

  • Belinda Bauer, Snap
  • Anna Burns, Milkman
  • Nick Drnaso, Sabrina
  • Esi Edugyan, Washington Black
  • Guy Gunaratne, In Our Mad and Furious City
  • Daisy Johnson, Everything Under
  • Rachel Kushner, The Mars Room
  • Sophie Mackintosh, The Water Cure
  • Michael Ondaatje, Warlight
  • Richard Powers, The Overstory
  • Robin Robertson, The Long Take
  • Sally Rooney, Normal People
  • Donal Ryan, From a Low and Quiet Sea

Congratulations to Esi Edugyan. 

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About Otosirieze Obi-Young

View all posts by Otosirieze Obi-Young
Otosirieze Obi-Young is a writer, literary journalist, and Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review, Transition, and in an anthology of the Gerald Kraak Award for which he was shortlisted. His work has further been shortlisted for the Miles Morland Writing Scholarship in 2016 and a Pushcart Prize in 2015. He attended the 2018 Miles Morland Foundation Creative Writing Workshop. He is the curator of the ART NAIJA SERIES, a sequence of themed e-anthologies of writing and visual art exploring different aspects of Nigerianness. The first, ENTER NAIJA: THE BOOK OF PLACES (October, 2016), focuses on cities in Nigeria. The second, WORK NAIJA: THE BOOK OF VOCATIONS (June, 2017), focuses on professions in Nigeria. He studied History and Literature at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and taught English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. He is currently completing a postgraduate programme in African Studies. 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. When bored, the boy just Googles Rihanna. Find him at

5 Responses to “Ghanaian Booker Party | Esi Edugyan Longlisted for 2018 Man Booker Prize, as Kwame Anthony Appiah Chairs Judging Panel” Subscribe

  1. KF 2018/07/26 at 19:03 #

    You guys are so silly sometimes. What are you insinuating with this headline? That their shared identity somehow compromises Appiah’s judgement? Besides, Esi is listed as Canadian on the longlist but you people must find gist so you call her Ghanaian.

    That’s how you behaved with that headline about Akwaeke earlier in the year.

  2. Anang C. 2018/07/26 at 22:43 #

    Uh..I don’t know, FK. I’m not sure. But I bet you’re the one being an idiot here. I didn’t read the headline that way. It would be daft to. They do headlines like this frequently. It is rather stupid to read the connection they made as an insinuation of nepotism (?). Las las, we Africans need to choose our struggles sha, always making fuss about non-issues.

  3. Ashley Makana Jeba 2018/07/26 at 23:07 #

    What I find naive and dangerous is KF’s idea of what makes someone of a nationality. Esi may be listed as Canadian on the Booker site but does that remove her Ghanaian birth? Her parents are immigrants for crying out loud! the post even says this clearly. We have to live with the effects of our postcoloniality and going forward means not denying any of our heritages. About the Akwaeke post, the girl overreacted, period. Like she also overreacted with Adichie’s comments.

  4. Nara L. Smith 2018/07/27 at 01:59 #

    And that was how this guy FK shifted the focus from the celebration that this post and headline are of Esi Edugyan’s achievement to his small-minded pettiness. What a bitter person. I’m sure you’re among those who spend their days attacking everyone on Facebook and then their nights writing bitter comments, venting your life frustrations. Get away please. Don’t spoil the party. Congratulations to Esi Drug an!

  5. Nara L. Smith 2018/07/27 at 02:11 #

    And you had to bring in Akwake probably to remind us that her book didn’t make the Booker longlist? Took attention away from Edugyan’s achievement and put it on another unconnected person. Gosh. F****** stupid.

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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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