The stellar selection comprises stories that explore realities beyond the familiar, and leave readers awestruck.
By Helena Olori
The James Currey Prize for African Literature has unveiled its longlist for the 2023 edition of the prize, with 11 manuscripts selected from a pool of over 80 entries received from African novelists across East, West, Central and Southern parts of the continent.
The longlist features unpublished novels by authors from Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Ghana, and Kenya, and they are as follows:
The Night Wing by Oluwaseun Beatrice Wende
Kindred Beyond by Chidubem Iweka
Ominla by Olatobosun Taofeek
Akala by William Moor
Azogini by Chuks Iloegbunam
Girl Generation by Zainab Suleiman
A Dangerous Job for a Woman by Pat Brickhill
The Remnant by Tariro Ndoro
Black Fractures in Exile by Limpho Sechele
Bolga by Bus by G.A. Agambila
The Legend Beach House by Peter Njeri
Speaking on the ingenuity of the writers’ works, Henry Akubuiro, who serves as the jury’s chair said, “The jury is impressed with the overall quality of entries recorded this year, a reflection of the diversity of Africa’s storytelling tradition.” He added, “The stories by these talented novelists pay witness to the postcolonial African condition, mystery and subaltern lives, told with flair and panache.”
Akubuiro, who is longlisted for the 2023 NLNG Nigerian Prize for Literature, is joined by Nneoma Otuegbe, Tatiana Cassiano, Kakwenza Rukirabashaija, Javier Gutierrez Lozano, Debbie Edwards and Masande Ntshanga, bringing in their wealth of experience as writers and editors to the selection process.
The 7-member judging panel, appointed by the World Arts Agency, will select a shortlist of 5 finalists, to be revealed on August 20th. The winner will be announced at the closing ceremony of the James Currey Literary Festival in Oxford, scheduled to hold from September 1-3, 2023.
Currently in its third year, the James Currey Prize for African Literature was established to recognise the finest unpublished fiction work written in English. It focuses on stories set in Africa or on Africans, within the continent or in the African Diaspora.
The winner of this year’s prize will receive a cash reward of £1,000, and the winning manuscript will be published by Abibiman Publishing UK.