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."

Diana Evans.

Oyinkan Braithwaite’s crime thriller My Sister, the Serial Killer and Diana Evans’ exploration of midlife crisis Ordinary People have been shortlisted for the 2019 Women’s Prize for Fiction. Both are Nigerian, with Evans half-British. While their longlisting back in March brought the number of African nominees for the 27-year-old prize—formerly known as the Orange Prize for Fiction and later the Baileys Prize for Fiction—to a total of 15 authors and 19 books, their shortlistings make them the fifth and sixth Africans to be finalists for the prize—following Nigeria’s Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in 2004, 2007 and 2014, the Sierra Leonean-Scottish Aminatta Forna in 2011, the Ghanaian-Canadian Esi Edugyan in 2012, and Nigeria’s Ayobami Adebayo in 2017. Remarkably, this is the first time that more than one African novelist is a finalist for the prize.

Oyinkan Braithwaite.

The shortlisting continues what is a fairytale return of sorts for Diana Evans, whose debut novel 26a won the now defunct Orange Prize for New Writers in 2005, and whose Ordinary People is currently a finalist for the Folio Prize. Braithwaite’s My Sister, the Serial Killer, published in Nigeria by Narrative Landscape Press, was named in Brittle Paper‘s Notable Books of 2018 list while some excerpts appeared on our site.

The four other books in contention for the £30,000 prize have been awards season favourites: former winner Madeline Miller for Circe, Booker Prize winning author Pat Barker for The Silence of the Girls, Anna Burns for the 2018 Booker Prize winning Milkman, and Tayari Jones for the popular An American Marriage. 

The judges are the academic Kate Williams, who is the chair, the journalist and critic Arifa Akbar, the columnist Dolly Alderton, the women’s rights campaigner Leyla Hussein, and the tech entrepreneur Sarah Wood.

“The two tropes perpetually given to us in myths and stories are the beautiful, captive princess, and the evil witch who is too ugly for a man and therefore sits around trying to kill men. Here, you get those completely turned on their heard and see they are living women, that the patriarchal system has written their stories for them, and what the truth could be,” said Williams. “Suddenly we’re asking where are the women, what do the women think about this, which was ignored to a degree even 20 years ago. . . We all know that history is written by the victors. These authors are pointing out these victors are men, even if women are on the winning side, because their stories have been written for them.”

The winner will be announced on 5 June.

Brittle Paper congratulates Oyinkan Braithwaite and Diana Evans.

Tags: , , , ,

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.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Feminist Friday - 3 May, 2019 - Yasmine Rose Reads - May 3, 2019

    […] Here are a couple of interesting articles I’ve seen over the week about the Women’s Prize shortlist: Feminist retellings of history dominate 2019 Women’s prize shortlist & Oyinkan Braithwaite and Diana Evans’ Shortlisting for the 2019 Women’s Prize for Fiction…. […]

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

July 10 | Sarah Ladipo Manyika Hosts Strive Masiyiwa on Conversations Across the Diaspora

July 10 _ Sarah Ladipo Manyika Hosts Strive Masiyiwas on Conversations Across the Diaspora

Sarah Ladipo Manyika, author of In Dependence (2008) and Like A Mule Bringing Ice Cream To The Sun (2016), has teamed up […]

Bernardine Evaristo Becomes First Black Writer to Win Author of the Year

Bernardine Evaristo Becomes First Black Writer to Win Author of the Year in the British Book Awards

  Bernardine Evaristo’s winning streak continues as she dominates two categories of the 2020 British Book Awards: Best Fiction Book […]

Apply for the 2020 Morland Writing Scholarship | £27,000 for Nonfiction, £18,000 Fiction

Apply for the 2020 Miles Morland Writing Scholarship

The Miles Morland Foundation is currently accepting applications for the 2020 Morland African Writing Scholarships. The awards offer a fiction […]

The Million Naira Nigeria Prize for Difference and Diversity | Here is How to Nominate Someone

The Million Naira Nigeria Prize for Difference and Diversity _ Here is How to Nominate Someone

Nominations for The Nigeria Prize for Difference & Diversity is officially open. The new prize, co-presented by digital media platform […]

This is Why I am Endowing a N1 Million Prize for Difference and Diversity in Nigeria | Chude Jideonwo

This is Why I am Endowing a N1 Million Prize for Difference and Diversity in Nigeria _ Chude Jideonwo (2)

Last year, I wrote a piece on CNN during Pride Month​—​a month set aside to celebrate sexual and gender diversity […]

Derek Owusu Awarded 2020 Desmond Elliot Prize

Derek Owusu Awarded 2020 Desmond Elliot Prize (1)

British author of Ghanaian heritage Derek Owusu has been awarded the 2020 Desmond Elliot Prize for his debut novel That […]

Thanks for signing up!

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

No thanks, I only want the monthly newsletter.