Photo: Bookshop UK

The British-Somalian author Nadifa Mohamed, British-Ghanaian author Caleb Azumah Nelson, and British-Zambian author Kayo Chingonyi are all finalists for the recently announced 2021 Costa Book Prizes.

Mohamed is nominated in the category of “Best Novel” for her Booker-shortlisted novel The Fortune Men which chronicles the gut-wrenching story of a man who must prove his innocence in a false murder charge.

Nelson is up in the “First Novel” category for his debut Open Water, described by the judges as a “nuanced portrayal of the realities of race today” told from the perspectives of two young black artists falling in and out of love in south-East London.

Chingonyi’s “A Blood Condition” a finalist for the Forward Poetry Prize, is nominated in the category of poetry. The collection was published by Chatto & Windua to positive reviews, particularly for its evocation of life, history and landscape in rural Zambia.

The Costa Book Award, now in its fiftieth year, is annually awarded across five categories to a book with a combination of literary merit and mainstream appeal. Winners in each category receive a cash award of £5,000 with an ultimate winner receiving a further £30,000. The Costa Awards is considered one of the UK’s most prestigious prizes, in the same league as the Booker Prize.

The winners in each category, as well as the overall, would be announced on 1 February 2022.

Congratulations to Nadifa Mohamed, Caleb Azumah Nelson and Kayo Chingonyi.