Subscribe to Newsletter
Monthly Newsletter: Join more than 5,000 African literature enthusiasts!
Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our "Guide to African Novels."

Esi Edugyan. Image from Globe and Mail.

Canadian-Ghanaian Esi Edugyan has been shortlisted for the 2018 Booker Prize for her third novel Washington Black. It is the 40-year-old’s second consecutive shortlisting for the prize. Her first was in 2011 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.

“Edugyan’s achievement, in unfolding Wash’s story, is one full of contraries,” said Leo Robson, one of this year’s judges. It is a novel of ideas but also of the senses, a yarn and a lament, a chase story that doubles as an intellectual quest, a history lesson in the form of a fairy tale. Moments of horrifying cruelty and violence sit alongside episodes of great tenderness and deep connection. A majestic grandeur is achieved with the lightest touch.”

Hitting bookstores this September, Washington Black is currently the bookmakers’ joint second favourite to win. Here is a description from its publishers Penguin Random House:

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.

The five other shortlisted writers are: Robin Robertson, for The Long Take; Anna Burns, for Milkman; Rachel Kushner, for The Mars Room; Richard Powers, for The Overstory; and Daisy Johnson, for Everything Under, which makes her, at 27, the youngest author ever to make the shortlist.

The judging panel comprises: crime writer Val McDermid, cultural critic Leo Robson, feminist writer and critic Jacqueline Rose, artist and graphic novelist Leanne Shapton, and Ghanaian-American philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah, who is the chair.

The 2018 winner will be announced on Tuesday, Oct. 16, in London’s Guildhall.

Congratulations to Esi Edugyan.

 

Following our report of the longlist in July, Nigerian writer Nzube Ifechukwu wrote, with instances, about the erasure of the African nationalities of writers in the press releases of the Man Booker Prizes. Although Esi Edugyan’s parents are Ghanaian, the press release lists her as just “Canadian,” highlighting the question of identity in global politics that African writers with Western nationalities are often mired in.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

About Otosirieze Obi-Young

View all posts by Otosirieze Obi-Young
Otosirieze Obi-Young is a writer, journalist, & Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. He sits on the judging panels of The Miles Morland Writing Scholarships and of The Gerald Kraak Prize. He is Nonfiction 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 Curator at 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 work in queer equality advocacy in literature has been profiled in Literary Hub. 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 has an M.A. in African Studies and a combined honours B.A. in History & International Studies/English & Literary Studies, both from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He taught English in a private Nigerian university. He is currently nominated for the inaugural The Future Awards Prize for Literature. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts writing and editing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze. When bored, he Googles Rihanna.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Welcome to Brittle Paper, your go-to site for African writing and literary culture. We bring you all the latest news and juicy updates on publications, authors, events, prizes, and lifestyle. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@brittlepaper) and sign up for our "I love African Literature" newsletter.

Monthly Newsletter!

Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our
"Guide to African Novels."

Archives

Alain Mabanckou’s New Book, a Collection of his Lectures Delivered at the Collège de France, to be Published January 2020

image.flvcrop.2048.5000

Congolese author Alain Mabanckou, possibly the most prominent name in Francophone African literature and renowned for his experimental writing, has […]

The 2019 Brittle Paper Awards: Announcing The 5 Shortlists

BP shortlist

We are excited to announce The 5 Shortlists for the 2019 Brittle Paper Awards. Launched in 2017 to mark our seventh anniversary, the […]

“Read Salone, Build Salone”: The First Sierra Leone National Book Fair | 5-7 Dec.

SLNBF

Between December 5 to December 7, Freetown, Sierra Leone, will play host to the Sierra Leone National Book Fair—the first […]

Is There a Quota of 5 Books by African Authors for Every “Best 100 Books of 2019” List?

best of best of best of

As yet another year draws to a close, literary lists of various sorts are once again filling our newsfeeds. During […]

Laila Lalami’s The Other Americans Longlisted for the 2020 Aspen Words Literary Prize

Lalami_Laila-1

Moroccan-American novelist Laila Lalami’s The Other Americans has recently been longlisted for the 2020 Aspen Words Literary Prize. Described on the Aspen Prize’s […]

Apply for SBMEN’s Workshop “Literary Criticism: Judging Dynamic Creative Writing in All Forms”| 23 November

Screen Shot 2019-11-17 at 8.57.48 PM

The Society for Book and Magazine Editors of Nigeria (SBMEN) is calling for applications to its fourth (and last) editing […]

Thanks for signing up!

Never miss out on new posts. Subscribe to a digest, too:

No thanks, I only want the monthly newsletter.