Five South African books have been long-listed for the 2016 Etisalat Prize for Literature.
They are: The Yearning by Mohale Mashigo (PanMacmillan, South Africa), Piggy Boy’s Blues by Nakhane Toure (Blackbird Books imprint of Jacana Media, SA), 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 longlist is made up of entries from first-time authors whose books were published in the past 24 months.
The South African authors are joined on the list by: Mr. and Mrs. Doctor by Julie Iromuanya (Coffee House Press, United States), The Peculiars by Jen Thorpe (Penguin Random House, USA), Born on a Tuesday by Elnathan John (Cassava Republic, Nigeria), and And After Many Days by Jowhor Ile (Farafina an imprint of Kachifo Limited, Nigeria).
Speaking at the announcement, Matthew Willsher, chief executive officer of Etisalat Nigeria, said: “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 (chairperson), 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, which will be unveiled in December.
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 Scotland.
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