Ghanaian author Yaa Gyasi is on the 2021 Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist for her second novel Transcendent Kingdom.

The longlist of sixteen includes novels from previous winner Ali Smith and 2020 Booker nominee Avni Doshi. Gyasi is the only African author represented. It is also the first time she is being nominated, having curiously missed out in 2017 for Homegoing.

In its 26th year, the Women’s Prize for Fiction seeks to recognize the best novel by a woman author, written in English and published in the UK in the preceding year. Since it’s founding, over 20 African women have been represented on its long and shortlists, with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie winning in 2007 for Half of a Yellow Sun.

Gyasi’s Transcedent Kingdom has received critical acclaim since its publication in 2020. Most recently, it was longlisted for the 2021 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction.

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Chair of Judges Bernardine Evaristo extolled the brilliance of the longlisted titles, stating that the novels “represent a truly wide and varied range of fiction by women that reflects multiple perspectives, narrative styles and preoccupations.”

A shortlist of six books will be announced on April 28 and the winner revealed on July 7 2021.

Go here to see the full longlist.

Best wishes to Yaa Gyasi.