The longlist for the 2018 9mobile Prize for Literature was announced a few days ago, and it includes the best of debut novels from across Africa;
Like it Matters by South African author, David Cornwell
Stay with Me by Nigerian author, Ayobami Adebayo;
Being Kari by Qarnita Loxton (South Africa);
What it Means When a Man Falls From the Sky by Lesley Nneka Arimah (Nigeria);
Radio Sunrise by Anietie Isong (Nigeria);
Taduno’s Song by Odafe Atogun (Nigeria);
The Printmaker by Bronwyn Law-Viljoen (SouthAfrica);
Asylum by Marcus Low (South Africa);
A Casualty of Power by Mukuka Chipanta (South Africa)
Launched in 2013 by Etisalat Nigeria, now known as 9Mobile, the Prize for Literature is a platform set up to promote literary creativity and talent development in Africa. It is the first and biggest pan-African literary prize that is open solely to debut fiction writers of African origin. As with every year, this year’s longlist showcases the richness and diversity of African stories and the abundance of talented new voices emerging from the African continent.
“The entries range through a variety of themes and preoccupations that mirror the expanse and diversity of the continent. The care and craft that the authors bring to the exploration of their chosen themes show a level of skill and artistry not often found in first works of fiction. These works give us a glimpse of the exciting literary landscapes ahead for African fiction,” said Harry Garuba, head of this year’s judging panel, which includes Doreen Baingana and Siphiwo Mahala.
The Prize for Literature celebrates new writers of African citizenship whose debut fiction of over 30,000 words was published in the last 24 months. Authors and their publishers can be based anywhere in the world. The winner of the Prize is awarded £15,000, a high-end device, 9mobile Fellowship at the University of East Anglia mentored by Professor Giles Foden, author of The Last King of Scotland.
9mobile will also sponsor two book readings, one in Lagos and the other in the winner’s home country. In the event that the Winner is a Nigerian citizen, a second location for the reading shall be selected from any African country. Past winners of the prize include Jowhor Ile for And After Many Days (2016), Fiston Mwanza Mujila for TRAM 83 (2014), Songeziwe Mahlangu for Penumbra (2013), and NoViolet Bulawayo for We Need New Names (2013). Next, a shortlist of three authors including the winner will be announced; may the best book win.