The prestigious £20,000 prize, named after the Swansea-born writer Dylan Thomas, celebrates literary talent aged 39 or under in honour of his 39 years of creativity and productivity.
By Helena Olori
The Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize has announced its international longlist for 2024, featuring two exceptional African titles; A Spell of Good Things by Nigerian novelist, Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀, and Small Worlds by British-Ghanaian writer and photographer, Caleb Azumah Nelson.
Both authors are also returning contenders with Adébáyọ̀ having been previously longlisted in 2018 for her debut novel, Stay With Me and Nelson’s Open Water shortlisted in 2022.
The international longlist, unveiled on Thursday, January 25th, comprises a total of 12 titles from authors representing the UK, Nigeria, Trinidad & Tobago, the US, Canada, and Hong Kong. The diverse selection includes seven novels, three short story collections, and two poetry collections, collectively exploring the themes of adversity, identity, home, and love.
Sharing the news on Instagram, Adébáyọ̀ quipped, “Thrilled that A Spell of Good Things has been longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize!!! Quite delighted to be in such stellar company.”
“Grateful Small Worlds is on the longlist for the Dylan Thomas Prize 2024, big congrats to all the other wonderful longlisted writers and a huge thank you to the judges”, remarked Nelson.
A Spell of Good Things, longlisted for the 2023 Booker Prize, “transports readers to modern-day Nigeria, to tell the timeless tale of two families caught between the gaping divides in society, whilst British-Ghanaian author Nelson bridges the distance between Ghana and London, to tell a complex father-son story set across three summers in his intimate novel, Small Worlds”.
A panel of judges, led by the acclaimed author of Never Never Land, Namita Gokhale, will select the six finalists from the longlisted titles which will be announced on March 21.
The prize is essentially focused on the international world of fiction in all its forms including poetry, novels, short stories and drama. The winner for the 2024 edition will be awarded on May 16 in Swansea, coinciding with the celebration of International Dylan Thomas Day on May 14. Last year, Arinze Ifeakandu won the prize for God’s Children Are Little Broken Things.