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Aminatta Forna.

Aminatta Forna’s fourth novel and fifth book Happiness is one of the six finalists for the 2019 Ondaatje Prize. The announcement was made at an RSL London event themed “The Spirit of a Place.” Alongside her on the longlist was the Nigerian writer Emmanuel Iduma, for his second book and first collection of essays A Stranger’s Pose.

Named after Christopher Ondaatje, the annual £10,000 Ondaatje Prize, which incorporates the Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize, is for a fiction, poetry or nonfiction book that evokes the “spirit of a place.” It is open only to writers who are citizens of, or are resident in, the Commonwealth or Ireland. The prize, which usually does not announce a longlist, has done so this year in celebration of its 15th anniversary.

The 2019 judges are RSL Fellows Sabrina Mahfouz, Michèle Roberts, and Ian Thomson.

The winner will be announced a month afterwards on 13 May.

Congratulations to Aminatta Forna.

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Otosirieze is deputy editor of Brittle Paper. He is a judge for the 2018/19 Gerald Kraak Prize and the 2019 Miles Morland Writing Scholarships. 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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