African authors

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:

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.


What do you need to know about me? 1. I'm from Wales which is one of the countries in the UK and must never be confused with England. 2. My life has always revolved around the written and spoken word. I worked as a journalist for nine years then in international corporate communications 3. My tastes in books are eclectic. I love realism and hate science fiction and science fantasy. 4. I am trying to broaden my reading horizons geographically by reading more books in translation

7 thoughts on “African authors to watch?

  • I’ve been trying to read (or, at least, add to my TBR list) more African authors, woefully ignorant that I am. Thank you for forestalling the feeling of absolute ignorance for not recognizing any of these by pointing out that they are first-time writers. Although, truthfully, despite my efforts, I probably wouldn’t know many of those authors with mutiple titles under their belts. Nonetheless, I am trying, so I appreciate your post!

  • Thanks for this – it sounds fascinating – although I’m a lot better at adding TBR books than I am at reading them, these days!

    • me too J.G. i could win an olympic medal if ever they introduced book buying as an event

  • Thank you so much for highlighting this prize and this list. I am always trying to expand the diversity of my reading, and this is a fantastic way to find as-yet-unknown authors. I can’t wait to dive in!

    • these international prizes are worth keeping an eye on just for that reason

  • I’m researching an article about lesser-known literary prizes — thank you for bringing this one to my attention!

    • How about that for timing? Your brain must have been sending vibes to me


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