LAGOS — Helon Habila, chair of the judging panel of the 2016 Etisalat Prize for Literature, has announced the 2016 longlist of nine books. The longlist is made up of entries from first-time authors whose books were published in the past 24 months.
The longlisted books 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).
The Chief Executive Officer of Etisalat Nigeria, Matthew Willsher, endorsed the judges’ carefully moderated selection process, saying:
“The novels in this year’s longlist represent a good number of African publishing companies. Each novel reflects a very interesting and dynamic perspective that will provoke intense conversations about different personal and societal issues.”
The judging panel, comprising Nigerian novelist and poet, Helon Habila (Chair), South African writer/activist Elinor Sisulu and Ivorian writer and Africa39 laureate Edwige Rene Dro, now has the task of selecting three authors for the shortlist.
The winner of the 2016 Etisalat Prize for Literature will be announced in March 2017 and will receive £15,000, an engraved Montblanc Meisterstück pen, and an Etisalat-sponsored fellowship at the University of East Anglia to be mentored by renowned Professor Giles Foden, author of The Last King of Scotlan