The list, which hails the literary stars of the future, also spotlighted writers like Saba Sams, Natasha Brown, Eley Williams, Thomas Morris, Olivia Sudjic, Eleanor Catton, K Patrick, Martin Amis, and many others.
By Hope Ibiale
British-Ghanaian writer, poet, and podcaster, Derek Owusu, has been listed by Granta magazine as one of the Best Young British Novelists. The list, which hails the literary stars of the future, also spotlighted writers like Saba Sams, Natasha Brown, Eley Williams, Thomas Morris, Olivia Sudjic, Eleanor Catton, K Patrick, Martin Amis, and many others.
Unlike the previous years when the condition for being on the list was having a British passport, this year’s edition took a new turn by allowing writers who acknowledge Britain as their home the privilege to make the list.
According to the deputy editor of Granta, Luke Neima, “The result is a more varied and encompassing portrait of the kind of writing that is happening today in Britain.”
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Granta is a literary magazine and publisher in the United Kingdom whose mission centres on the supremacy of a story, both in fiction and non-fiction, to describe, illuminate and make real. In 1983, Granta published a list of young British novelists, marking them as future stars. Since then, the magazine has repeated its recognition of spotlighting 20 novelists under 40 every ten years. Over the years, at least 12 recognised writers have subsequently either won or been shortlisted for major literary awards such as the Booker Prize and Whitbread Prize. The newly spotlighted novelists will feature in the Best of Young British Novelists issue, published on April 27, 2023.
Derek Owusu is a writer, poet, and podcaster from North London. At twenty-three, he discovered his passion for literature while studying exercise science at university. After exploring other writers’ works, Owusu debuted into the literary world with That Reminds Me, which won the Desmond Elliott Prize in 2020. He also contributed to and edited Safe: On Black British Men Reclaiming Space and About This Boy: Growing up, Making Mistakes and Becoming Me. His other works include Losing The Plot and Safe: 20 Ways to be a Black Man in Britain Today. Owusu’s latest book, Look Again: Faith, will be released on July 6, 2023.
This year’s cohort was selected by judges Tash Aw, Rachel Cusk, Brian Dillon, Helen Oyeyemi, and Sigrid Rausing.