Ngugi wa Thiong’o. Photo credit: unknown.

Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Nnedi Okorafor have been longlisted for The Alternative Nobel Prize, the only three Africans nominated. The 47-name longlist includes such heavyweight figures as Marilynne Robinson, Haruki Murakami, Cormac McCarthy, Joyce Carol Oates, JK Rowling, Don DeLillo, Ian McEwan, Jamaica Kincaid, Margaret Atwood, Thomas Pynchon, Arundhati Roy, Donna Tartt, Zadie Smith, and Elena Ferrante. The award is open for voting until August 14.

Created by The New Academy, an organisation of Swedish librarians, in response to news that the 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature would not be awarded following the sex scandal rocking the Swedish Academy who awards the prize, The Alternative Nobel Prize states that a considered author must be a “writer of literary fiction who within the reader has entered the story of mankind in the world.” Considered authors further need to have published at least two works, one of which must be within the last ten years. Nobel Prize in Literature laureates are not eligible.

The shortlist will have four writers—three of whom will be voted in, the last of whom would be nominated by the librarians. Given the Nobel Prize’s questionable history of 14 female winners out of 114 laureates, The Alternative Nobel’s shortlist will be restricted by gender—two women, two men.

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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Image from Vogue.

The longlist has been praised by Book Riot as “representing a new level of diversity for the typically predictable Nobel list,” and by The Guardian as “a wonderfully eclectic lineup.”

Are there African novelists you feel were left out?

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I’m thinking it would have been glorious to also have Alain Mabanckou, Teju Cole, Jose Eduardo Agualusa, Aminatta Forna and Mia Couto.

Vote for Ngugi wa Thiong’o HERE.

Vote for Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie HERE.

Vote for Nnedi Okorafor HERE.  

Voting closes August 14.

Nnedi Okorafor. Image from Bella Naija via Google.