African authors to watch?
The longlist for the annual Etisalat Prize for Literature has just been announced – this is a prize for first time authors from Africa so if you don’t recognise any of the names on this list, don’t panic.
As always South African and Nigerian writers dominate – maybe that has something to do with the fact English is widely spoken in those countries making it easier to get published? I know I’ve found it hard to get translations of authors from some of the smaller countries. Eligible authors must hold citizenship in an African nation though they can be resident anywhere in the world.
The longlisted titles are:
- Mr. and Mrs. Doctor by Julie Iromuanya (Coffee House Press, USA);
- The Yearning by Mohale Mashigo (PanMacmillan, South Africa);
- Piggy Boy’s Blues by Nakhane Toure (Blackbird Books imprint of Jacana Media, SA);
- The Peculiars by Jen Thorpe (Penguin Random House, USA);
- Born on a Tuesday by Elnathan John (Cassava Republic, Nigeria);
- And After Many Days by Jowhor Ile (Farafina an imprint of Kachifo Limited, Nigeria);
- Dub Steps by Andrew Miller (Jacana Media, South Africa);
- The Seed Thief by Jacqui L’Ange (Umuzi Publishers, South Africa); and
- Nwezelenga: The Star Child by Unathi Magubeni (Black Bird Books Imprint of Jacana Media, South Africa).
We have to wait until March next year to discover the winner. There could be some gems here – maybe one of these authors could be the next Chimamande Ngozi Adichie.