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Longlist for Etisalat Prize for Literature 2015 Announced

BellaNaija.com

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Cover image for PFL longlist
The longlist of the Etisalat Prize for Literature 2015 has been selected from an array of over 100 titles submitted from across Africa.

This year’s longlist of 9 books was selected by an esteemed panel of three judges chaired by Professor Ato Quayson, Professor of English and inaugural Director of the Centre for Diaspora Studies at the University of Toronto, and also comprising Molara Wood, writer, journalist, critic and editor; and Zukiswa Wanner, author of Men of the South and London Cape Town Joburg.

The 2015 longlist, for the Etisalat Prize for Literature is:

  1. Ifeoluwapo Adeniyi (Nigeria), On the Bank of the River
  2. Penny Busetto (South Africa), The Story of Anna P, as Told by Herself
  3. Z P Dala (South Africa), What About Meera
  4. Kurt Ellis (South Africa), By Any Means
  5. Paula Marais (South Africa), Shadow Self
  6. Fiston Mwanza Mujila (Democratic Republic of Congo), Tram 83
  7. Masande Ntshanga (South Africa), The Reactive
  8. Chigozie Obioma (Nigeria), The Fishermen
  9. Rehana Rossouw (South Africa), What Will People Say?

Professor Ato Quayson, Chair of the Judging Panel commented: “The range of submissions for the Etisalat Prize this year represents the vitality of literary writing on the continent, and the longlist is a selective showcase of the best to be found. The subjects covered in the longlist are so fascinating and varied that it would take another novel just to describe them all. Magnificent!

The judges now have the task of selecting a shortlist of three at a retreat in the Seychelles in December.

The winner of the 2015 Etisalat Prize for Literature will receive £15,000, an engraved Montblanc Meisterstück pen and will attend an Etisalat sponsored fellowship at the University of East Anglia, mentored by Professor Giles Foden, author of The Last King of Scotland.

The Etisalat Prize for Literature launched in June 2013 is the first pan-African prize that is open solely to debut fiction writers of African citizenship and has now established itself as the most prestigious literary prize for African fiction.

The distinguished Patrons of the Etisalat Prize are noted African writer Ama Ata Aidoo (Ghana), Pulitzer Prize winner Dele Olojede (Nigeria), Former deputy editor of Granta Magazine and former senior editor at Jonathan Cape, Random House, Ellah Allfrey, OBE (UK, Zimbabwe), Writer and Intellectual best known for his works of fiction, Kole Omotoso (Nigeria), Editor, writer, broadcaster, consultant and co-founder of Allison & Busby, Margaret Busby, OBE (UK/Ghana) and Novelist, Poet and Playwright, Zakes Mda (South Africa).

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6 Comments

  1. Blue

    November 20, 2015 at 10:01 pm

    I am sad on two notes:
    1. – not even a single comment! But if it were some white man marrying or not marrying a black lady, the comment section would have been flooded….Is it because this post is about books?

    2 – The ration of writers from South Africa to other Writers is saddening. What is really going on with reading (and writing) culture all over Africa and the world?????

    That said, keep up the good work, dear nominees! more power to your elbows….

    • Tari

      November 21, 2015 at 9:00 am

      Don’t be sad for reason number 1. It is normal here. Even BN knows what brings traffic (notice that this was a sponsored post). This is a blog version of those trashy American reality shows. It is just a gossip blog. Forget all the packaging and pretentiousness. Enjoy it for what it is. Yet its readers will look across the street and degrade other blogs. It is what it is.

      On point number 2, I feel your sadness but it is the reality on ground. I am fairly conversant with the literary community in South Africa and one of the reasons why their writers dominate these lists compared to the rest of the continent is that the industry is well structured. From the publishing houses (which though struggling but are existent), to functional bookshops in every city to well developed literature departments in the universities to well funded literary festivals.
      Notice that the Nigerian and Congolese writers in these lists are often living in the diaspora.

      On a final note, it is my humble opinion that for Nigeria specifically, our kind of lifestyle is not aligned to a reading culture that breeds production of good fiction. If interested, we could discuss this further.

  2. Tari

    November 21, 2015 at 8:51 am

    I am rooting for Kurt Ellis. His entry blew me away.

  3. Ephi

    November 21, 2015 at 9:41 am

    All the best to our Naija folks on the list – 1&8

  4. tofunmi

    November 21, 2015 at 10:02 am

    Rooting for Obioma Chigozie!! The Fishermen is one of the few books I’ll read over and over again without getting bored.

  5. Akan Udofia

    November 23, 2015 at 10:56 am

    Its a relief to know there are great and exceptional Africa writers telling our stories to the world. We need more organizations to support, sponsor and uplift literature in our society, I believe this will help bring back our reading culture in Nigeria and Africa. Looking forward to the winner of this year edition of Etisalate Prize for Literature.

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