The Aspen Words Literary Prize committee has announced the judges for the 2021 prize, and British-Nigerian writer Sarah Ladipo Manyika is one of them.

At $35,000, The Aspen Words Literary Prize is one of the largest prizes in the US and is open to novels and short story collections from writers of any nationality, addressing violence, inequality, gender, the environment, immigration, religion, race or other social issues.

Manyika is joined by Vietnamese-American novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen and the American writers Emily Bernard, Daniel Shaw and Luis Alberto Urrea.

The Aspen Words Literary Prize is annually awarded to an “influential work of fiction that illuminates a vital contemporary issue and demonstrates the transformative power of literature on thought and culture.”

Previously nominated writers of African descent include Laila Lalami, Akwaeke Emezi, Lesley Nneka Arimah, Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, Gael Faye, Zizi Clemons and Alain Mabanckou.

Born and raised in Nigeria, Sarah Ladipo Manyika has lived in Kenya, France and Britain. She attended universities in Britain and France, obtaining a Ph.D from the University of California. Her debut novel In Dependence is an international bestseller and a recommended study text for Nigerian students. Her second novel Like a Mull Bringing Ice-Cream to the Sun has been translated into six languages. She currently divides her time between San Fransisco, London and Harare.

Manyika is a brilliant addition to this stellar cast of judges. We wish her all the best as she carries out her duty as judge.

Learn more about the prize here.