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Maaza Mengiste by Nina Subin.

Finalists for the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes have been announced. The Ethiopian novelist Maaza Mengiste is nominated in the Fiction category for her second novel The Shadow King, which is set during the second Italo-Ethiopian war and centers on women who fought in it. The Zambian novelist Namwali Serpell is nominated in the Ray Bradbury Prize for Science Fiction, Fantasy and Speculative Fiction category for her debut novel The Old Drift, which was hailed as the “great Zambian novel.” Also nominated in that category is the Jamaican author and Booker Prize winner Marlon James for his novel Black Leopard, Red Wolf. The Nigerian edition of the novel was released last year by Narrative Landscape Press.

Both Serpell and Mengiste have won and been shortlisted for The Brittle Paper Awards. Serpell was shortlisted for the 2017 Brittle Paper Award for Fiction and went on to win the 2019 Brittle Paper Award for Essays and Think Pieces. Mengiste was a finalist for the latter category.

Namwali Serpell.

Now in its fortieth year, the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes recognize work in 12 categories: autobiographical prose; biography; current interest; fiction; first fiction; graphic novel/comics; history; mystery/thriller; poetry; science fiction; science and technology; and young-adult literature.

See the rest of the finalists HERE.

Brittle Paper congratulates Maaza Mengiste, Namwali Serpell, and Marlon James.

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Chukwuebuka Ibeh is a Staff Writer at Brittle Paper. An alumnus of the Purple Hibiscus Trust Creative Writing Workshop, his work has been published in McSweeneys, Clarion Review, Charles River Journal and elsewhere. He was longlisted for the Awele Creative Trust Award in 2017 and was a finalist for the 2019 Gerald Kraak Award. In 2019, he was named by Electric Literature as 'One of the Most Promising New Voices of Nigerian Fiction' in a feature introduced by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. He is a regular contributor with the New England Review of Books and lives in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

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