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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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About Otosirieze Obi-Young

View all posts by Otosirieze Obi-Young
Otosirieze Obi-Young is a writer, journalist, & Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. The recipient of the inaugural The Future Awards Prize for Literature in 2019, he is a judge for The Gerald Kraak Prize and was a judge for The Morland Writing Scholarship in 2019. 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. 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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