And it’s female authors who dominate!
The eleven shortlisted authors for the Nigeria Prize for Literature 2016 have been announced, whittled down from 173 entries and in a surprising turn, seven of the eleven authors are women!
The esteemed Literature Prize for Fiction is worth $100,000 and all authors must be Nigerian residents or Nigerian born to qualify. The prize has been awarded since 2004 and with more demand for diverse literature in the UK, winners can expect good global sales! Want to expand your reading repertoire? Here are the shortlisted authors:
Chika Unigwe – Night Dancer
Winner of the 2012 prize, this year’s entry is Night Dancer, a story of a woman left everything but a good reputation. It’s a moving novel about the relationships between mothers and daughters all against a backdrop of 50 years of Nigerian history.
Ogochukwu Promise – Sorrow’s Joy
Promise is the author of almost 20 novels but has never been listed for the Nigeria Prize for Literature previously. Sorrow’s Joy is based on a true story about the onslaught of cancer, courage and human emotion.
Yejide Kilanko – Daughters who walk this Path
Kilanko is a writer of both poetry and fiction and in Daughters who walk this Path we watch Morayo grow from a spirited child in busy Ibadan, Nigeria, into a politically charged determined young woman.
Ifoema Okoye – The Fourth World
Okoye is an author and writer of children’s literature and The Fourth World is in that crossover between YA and adult. Chira is left with a heavy burden to look after her ailing mother and is unable to fund her education, offering a novel of self-reliance, determination and spirit.
Sefi Atta – A Bit of Difference
This is Atta’s second novel and it centres around Nigerian protagonist Deola Bello who is tired of London and takes a charity job that tales her home to Nigeria. The move changes her, and she wonders if she’s equipped to cope with the changed social landscape of modern Nigeria.
Abubakar Adam Ibrahim – Season of Crimson Blossoms
Nigerian journalist and writer Ibrahim brings an affair between a 55 year old widow, and 25 year old weed dealer in conservative Northern Nigeria to life in this story of love and longing, charged with political violence.
Aramide Segun – Eniitan: Daughter of Destiny
Previous winner of the ANA Prose Prize, Segun is shortlisted for Eniitan: Daughter of Destiny, a story of a dysfunctional Nigerian family and the complexities of life in a society where religion politics and social norms can make of break a human spirit.
Mansim Chuma Okafor – The Parable of the Lost Shepherds
Author of two previous works of fiction, Okafor enters the shortlist with The Parable of the Lost Shepherds. Reverend Jerome Ofomah is in trouble for child molestation and on the eve of his trial claims to have visited heaven in a tale that shakes the church to its foundation.
The list was presented to the chairman and the panel of judges for this year’s prize, to be announced several weeks from now.
The esteemed prize offers a $100,000 cash prize and the coverage and exposure of having an award winning novel.