By Dennis Abrams | @DennisAbrams2
Shortlist to Be Released in September
The advisory board for the Nigeria Prize for Literature, led by Emeritus Professor Ayo Banjo, has announced its initial longlist of 11 titles, drawn from 173 books in the running for the 2016 award.
The shortlist is made up of entries from Nigerian writers at home and in diaspora, well-known writers as well as first-time novelists.
The advisory board’s list:
- Chika Unigwe, winner of The Nigeria Prize 2012 with her book On Black Sister’s Street and judge for the 2017 Man Booker Prize, is on the list with her entry Night Dancer (Jonathan Cape, Ltd.) published in 2014.
- Ogochukwu Promise, author of more than 15 novels, founder of the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa and two-time contender for The Nigeria Prize, is in with her book Sorrow’s Joy (Book Craft Africa).
- Yejide Kilanko is a writer of poetry and fiction. Her debut novel is Daughters Who Walk This Path (Pintail).
- Ifeoma Okoye, a writer and author of children’s literature got on the list with The Fourth World (The Rising People’s Press).
- Sefi Atta, author of the widely popular Everything Good Will Come, is longlisted for A Bit of Difference (Interlink).
- Abubakar Adam Ibrahim, writer and journalist, is the author of Season of Crimson Blossoms (Paressia and Cassava Republic).
- Ifeoluwa Adeniyi, a radio broadcaster, has place on the longlist with her debut novel On the Bank of the River (Panamacchi).
- Elnathan John is longlisted for his novel, Born On A Tuesday (Cassava Republic).
- Aramide Segun, winner of an Association of Nigerian Authors Prose Prize for her debut book The Third Dimple, is on the list with her novel Eniitan Daughter of Destiny (CreateSpace).
- Maryam Awaisu, a radio presenter, is longlisted for her first novel Burning Bright (iUnivers).
- Mansim Chumah Okafor, author of two previous books of fiction, is longlisted for The Parable of the Lost Shepherds (CreateSpace).
In a statement, organizers of the Nigeria Prize say that since 2004, rewarded writers have included Esiaba Irobi (2010, drama) for Cemetery Road; Adeleke Adeyemi (2011, children’s literature) with his book The Missing Clock; Chika Unigwe (2012, prose), with her novel, On Black Sisters Street; Tade Ipadeola (2013, poetry) with his collection of poems, The Sahara Testaments; and Professor Sam Ukala (2014, drama) with his play, Iredi War.
The Nigeria Prize for Literature rotates yearly among four literary categories: prose fiction, poetry, drama and children’s literature. The 2016 prize is for prose fiction and comes with a cash award of $100, 000. Next year’s genre will be poetry.
Energy company Nigeria LNG Limited’s publicity materials say that the company remains committed to responsible corporate citizenship and that the corporation sees The Nigeria Prize for Literature is one of its numerous contributions to the national community.
According to the press release, a shortlist of three titles is expected in September and a winner, if any, will be announced by the advisory board in October.