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Nigeria Prize for Literature 2016 Shortlist Announced

By July 15, 2016Literary Awards, News

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.

Night Dancer US
Night Dancer UK

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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.

Enquire at your local bookshop for this one!

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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.

Daughters Who Walk This Path US
Daughters Who Walk This Path UK

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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.

The Fourth World US
The Fourth World UK

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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.

A Bit of Difference US
A Bit of Difference UK

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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.

Season of Crimson Blossoms US
Season of Crimson Blossoms UK

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Ifeoluwa Adeniyi – On the Bank of the River

This is radio broadcaster Adeniyi’s debut novel and it’s a mesh of narratives coming together to tell a magical love story that is hard to put down.

Enquire at your local bookshop for this one

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Elnathan John – Born on a Tuesday

Born on a Tuesday is John’s debut novel and brings us the voice of a young boy, Dantala, offering a coming of age story against the backdrop of extremist Nigerian politics and religion.

Born on a Tuesday US
Born on a Tuesday UK

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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.

Eniitan: Daughter of Destiny US
Eniitan: Daughter of Destiny UK

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Maryam Awaisu – Burning Bright

Radio Presenter Maryam Awaisu enters the shortlist with her novel about an over-achieving young lady living with Sickle Cell Anaemia in a dramatic story of faith hope, and family.

Burning Bright US
Burning Bright UK

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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.

Parable of the Lost Shepherds US
Parable of the Lost Shepherds UK

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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.

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