The 2020 Booker Prize award ceremony was one of the most anticipated events of the year in the African literary community. This is because two African writers, both women, were shortlisted for the prize.

The award ceremony, which took place on November 19, was a bit unconventional. The Booker Prize, like most literary institutions, have had to adapt to pandemic conditions. Instead of an award celebration in London, the prize organizers held what it termed “Ceremony without Walls.” No dinners and cocktails. Just a pared-down virtual event broadcast in partnership with the BBC from London’s Roundhouse.

Nonetheless, the ceremony was worthy of note. It was a mix of live events featuring last years prize winner Bernardine Evaristo and publishing doyen Margaret Busby and pre-recorded videos. The show featured the announcement of Douglas Stuart winning the prize, in addition to a speeches by President Obama and the Duchess of Cornwall, in addition to staged readings of excerpts from the shortlisted books. Go here to see Thandie Newton and Nina Sosanya perform stage readings of Tsitsi Dangarembga’s and Maaza Mengiste’s novels. Enjoy the photos and videos.

 

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President Obama’s Speech

 

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The Duchess of Conrwall’s Speech

 

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