Two African authors have made it to the 2024 Aspen Words Literary Prize longlist. Ghanaian-American author Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah and Nigerian writer Stephen Buoro are on the seventh annual AWLP longlist featuring 14 authors.
Aspen Words was founded in 1976 as a literary center based in Aspen, Colorado whose mission is to encourage writers, inspire readers, and connect people through the power of stories. The Aspen Words Literary Prize is a $35,000 annual award for fiction with social impact and enduring literary value.
This year’s books—10 novels and four story collections—explore timely topics including the U.S. prison system, xenophobia, sexuality and the diaspora experience. The 2024 panel of jurists include Samantha Lan Chang, Christina Baker Kline, Anthony Marra, Chinelo Okparanta and Simran Jeet Singh.
The 2024 longlist features Chain-Gang All-Stars by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah and The Five Sorrowful Mysteries of Andy Africa by Stephen Buoro.
Chain-Gang All-Stars is about an alternative world where two top women gladiators fight for their freedom within a private prison system much like the one in the U.S. Meanwhile, The Five Sorrowful Mysteries of Andy Africa is about a 15-year-old boy coming of age in the shadow of colonialism and communal violence in Nigeria .
The other writers on the longlist include Aaliyah Bilal, Jamel Brinkley, Isabella Hammad, Sonora Jha, Claire Jiménez, R.F. Kuang, Rebecca Makkai, James McBride, Jennifer Maritza McCauley, Alejandro Varela, Jesmyn Ward, and C Pam Zhang.
The shortlist will be out on March 13, 2024, while the awards ceremony will take place at The Morgan Library on April 25, 2024.
Congrats to Buoro and Adjei-Brenyah! Fingers crossed.