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Read an excerpt from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's new short story, inspired by Donald and Melania Trump

Half of a Yellow SunWe Should All Be FeministsAmericanahPurple HibiscusAmericanahThe Thing Around Your Neck

 
Have you ever tried to imagine a day in the life of the Trumps? How would Melania Trump deal with the day-to-day challenges of being married to the infamous businessperson, author and politician, Donald Trump? Does she feel accepted by his children, is there harmony in the Trump clan? Or are they just like any other family, riddled with politics, jealousies and heartaches?

Luckily for us, we don’t need to speculate any longer. Award-winning novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has written a short story for The New York Times Book Review entitled “The Arrangements”, in which she depicts Melania’s most inner thoughts and fears.

The story is the first in a series of fiction inspired by the upcoming American election and was published on Tuesday, 28 June.

From the first sentence – “Melania decided she would order the flowers herself” – the reader is aware that “The Arrangements” is not only a story about the Trump dynasty as perceived through the eyes of Melania. It is also a homage to Virginia Woolf as it echoes that famous first sentence: “Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.”

Read an excerpt from “The Arrangements”:

Melania decided she would order the flowers herself. Donald was too busy now anyway to call Alessandra’s as usual and ask for “something amazing.” Once, in the early years, before she fully understood him, she had asked what his favorite flowers were.

“I use the best florists in the city, they’re terrific,” he replied, and she realized that taste, for him, was something to be determined by somebody else, and then flaunted.

At first, she wished he would not keep asking their guests, “How do you like these great flowers?” and that he would not be so nakedly in need of their praise, but now she felt a small tug of annoyance if a guest did not gush as Donald expected. The florists were indeed good, their peonies delicate as tissue, even if a little boring, and the interior decorators Donald had brought in — all the top guys used them, he said — were good, too, even if all that gold yellowness bordered on staleness, and so she did not disagree because Donald disliked dissent, and he only wanted the best for them, and she had what she really needed, this luxurious peace. But today, she would order herself. It was her dinner party to celebrate her parents’ anniversary. Unusual orchids, maybe. Her mother loved uncommon things.

Her Pilates instructor, Janelle, would arrive in half an hour. She had just enough time to order the flowers and complete her morning skin routine. She would use a different florist, she decided, where Donald did not have an account, and pay by herself. Donald might like that; he always liked the small efforts she made. Do the little things, don’t ask for big things and he will give them to you, her mother advised her, after she first met Donald. She gently patted three different serums on her face and then, with her fingertips, applied an eye cream and ­sunscreen.

What a bright morning. Summer sunlight raised her spirits. And Tiffany was leaving today. It felt good. The girl had been staying for the past week, and came and went, mostly staying out of her way. Still, it felt good. Yesterday she had taken Tiffany to lunch, so that she could tell Donald that she had taken Tiffany to lunch.

“She adores all my kids, it’s amazing,” Donald once told a reporter — he was happily blind to the strangeness in the air whenever she was with his children.

To keep the lunch short, she had told Tiffany that she had an afternoon meeting with the Chinese company that produced her jewelry — even though she had no plans. Tiffany had cheerily forked spinach salad into her mouth, her California voice too pleasant, too fey. Her wrists looked fragile and breakable. She talked about how much she loved Ivanka’s new collection; she talked about a vegan recipe, reciting details of berries and seaweed, as though Melania would actually ever make it. She played a recording of her singing and said: “It’s not there yet but I’m working on it. You think Dad will like it?” Melania said, “Of course.”

 

Related stories:


 

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Image courtesy of The New York Times Book Review

Pan Macmillan to represent Cassava Republic Press in South Africa

Season of Crimson BlossomsBorn on a TuesdayThe Lazarus Effectnullnull
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Pan Macmillan is delighted to announce that as of July 2016 the company will represent Cassava Republic Press in South Africa.

Cassava Republic Press is a leading African publishing house and their list comprises an eclectic selection of quality literary fiction, non-fiction, crime, young adult fiction, children’s books and romantic fiction under the Ankara Press imprint. The publisher aims to spotlight the vibrancy and diversity of prose by African writers on the continent and in the Diaspora.

Their 2016 fiction list includes Elnathan John’s breathtakingly beautiful Born on a Tuesday which tackles unexplored aspects of friendship, love, trauma and politics in recent Northern Nigerian history; Sarah Ladipo Manyika’s mesmerising Like A Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun, a subtle story about ageing, friendship and loss and the erotic yearnings of an older woman; the crime novel Easy Motion Tourist by Leye Adenle and Abubakar Adam Ibrahim’s Season of Crimson Blossoms, a controversial and gripping story of an affair between a devoted Muslim grandmother and a 25-year-old drug dealer and political thug.

Cassava Republic Press has headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria with a second base in London. Since its founding 10 years ago in Nigeria, it has become a dynamic and truly international publishing house that Pan Macmillan is proud to represent.

Related links:

 

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'A truly non-racial literary festival in a black township' - Darryl David announces Soweto Literary Festival sponsored by ATKV

Soweto TheatreSoweto Theatre

 

Darryl David has announced a new Soweto Literary Festival that will take place from 19 to 21 August, 2016 at the Soweto Theatre.

David is a lecturer in the University of KwaZulu-Natal Department of English and the founder of a number of literary projects, including the Booktown Richmond festival and BoekBedonnerd Literary Festival.

An exciting new Soweto book festival was announced in September last year: The Abantu Book Festival, which will take place from 6-10 December, 2016, at the Eyethu Lifestyle Centre in Mofolo.

Read David’s statement:

It’s taken me five years to get a Soweto Literary Festival off the ground. But come August 2016, Booktown Richmond will bring a literary festival to Soweto. We had always hoped South Africa’s national Booktown in the middle of nowhere would become the epicentre of literary South Africa. But we have been forced to concede that if the mountain won’t come to Moses, then Moses must go to the mountain.

It’s been a hard journey. Letters upon letters to individuals with unfettered cheque books. Interactions with vice-chancellors. Pleas to gatekeepers in departments of arts and culture. And for all my efforts? Nothing!

And then, you will never guess who gave me a little funding the size of a mustard seed for a Soweto Literary Festival. The ATKV. For those who may not know, that stands for Afrikaanse Taal- en Kultuurvereniging. With no demands to use the money for Afrikaans writers only. No, just get a literary festival off the ground in Soweto, they said to me. They had seen what I did with a small amount of money in getting a Festival of Children’s Literature off the ground in KwaZulu-Natal. So they believed in me, I guess. Afrikaans. Soweto. I could not have scripted it any better if I had tried to.

But this will be my most challenging festival to date. True, I would like to think I changed the face of South African literature by taking book festivals to the forgotten dorps of South Africa and by creating South Africa’s national Booktown. But the language of the Karoo is Afrikaans. And I was the only Indian lecturer of Afrikaans in South Africa. (Although they wanted to tar and feather me after I called my first festival BookBedonnerd and the theme for the second The Coolie Odyssey.)

But Soweto … we have just been bombarded by news of Brexit over the last few days. In South Africa literary circles we had our very own Brexit in May 2015 at the Franschhoek Literary Festival when Thando Mgqolozana boldly pronounced, ‘I’m quitting what I call the white literary system in South Africa.’

So was it sheer determination or sheer foolishness to persist with my Soweto dream after that? I took solace from the fact that Mgqolozana did not say he would not support a literary effort created by an Indian man (without any help from the Guptas!).

Mgqolozana had added, ‘I feel that I’m there [Franschhoek Literary Festival] to perform for an audience that does not treat me as a literary talent, but as an anthropological subject – as though those people are here to confirm their suspicions that somehow I am inferior to them. You can just turn around and look at yourselves – it looks very abnormal. In this country, it should never be like this.’

Eusebius McKaiser then asked where Mgqolozana’s anger was directed ‘at these wonderful people in the audience or the black people who are not here?’

‘I’m very proud of the black people who are not here,’ he replied, ‘because I don’t see why they should come here. I’m angry with the people who think this is normal. Who think the Franschhoek Literary Festival is normal, that the Open Book Festival is normal. Most people who are in charge of those things are our friends – nice people – but they think this is okay. I’m angry at those people. There is very little I can do about it, but I can remove myself.’

Mgqolozana went on: ‘An assumption must not be made that we haven’t made attempts to change this system. A lot of us writers talk about it all the time and we try to do things. I’m part of a group of writers that started Read SA with Ben Williams, Zukiswa [Wanner] and others, which was because we want to encourage South Africans, especially black South Africans, to read, and particularly to read South African literature. But that campaign fell off because the literary infrastructure at the moment is in the cities, in white set-ups, like here, for example. It systematically excludes black people. So what is needed is the establishment of that infrastructure. That’s what we need. Not just campaigns. We need to get libraries in the black communities. There are some now, built by the democratic government, but they are fake libraries. The ones that are functioning there are functioning because they are sponsored by Canadians and Australians, and they bring books from there. For example, I went to Harare Library in Khayelitsha [for a conversation with Cyril Ramaphosa about a national book club - ed] and it’s sponsored by Carnegie. We need libraries and bookstores with relevant, affordable books in the black community.’

And Mgqolozana was right. To a degree. However, what Mgqolozana wants to change will require him to have very good karma because he would need many lifetimes to achieve all of this. His response was not only to withdraw from so-called white literary festivals. He then went on to partner festivals like Time of the Writer at my university (UKZN), with a Decolonisation of the Book project.

My response is somewhat different: I say start a literary festival in one of the most famous places on the planet – Soweto.

As I understand Mgqolozana’s project it was, like Brexit, an attempt to turn inward. To take back a space that was unfairly taken away from black writers during apartheid. To assert the equality of black writers in a new space free from the hegemony of the book industry in South Africa. To give black writers centre stage. But it comes with a cost: the exclusion of white writers. The exclusion of Indian and coloured writers. I am friends on Facebook with many black writers. And whenever they post photos from literary events, all you see is black faces. Like all you see at Franschhoek is white faces.

In my heart I have to believe in the way of Mandela. In the way of Kathrada. In a rainbow nation.

Let me use an analogy. In marriage, you can choose to fight like cats and dogs for months on end until the only way out one can see is divorce. Or as my wife tells me, in the midst of a shouting match, you can simply hug the person, no matter how much they push you away. And say ‘We have fought long enough. I love you.’ I have the soul of a writer and I believe in the power of literature to unite. Even in times of doubt, this is all I have to cling on to.

This is why I am starting the Soweto Literary Festival. To create a truly non-racial literary festival in a black township, something that has never ever been done before. A start has been made in Khayelitsha. But that was more a book fair, not a literary festival. I have always maintained Soweto looms large in the literary imagination of South Africa. It is the home of two Nobel Laureates revered throughout the world: Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela. And there are enough books on Tutu and Mandela to form the supporting pillars for the biggest bookshop in South Africa.

But Soweto is so much more than Mandela and Tutu. Soweto is the cradle of black literature. It was home to the canon of black literature in South Africa – Mongane Wally Serote, Sipho Sepamla Njabulo Ndebele, Miriam Tlali, Ellen Kuzwayo and Benedict Vilakazi. These are writers from the golden era of black writing in South Africa. The list becomes more extensive if one considers figures like Winnie Mandela, Miriam Makeba, and countless others who were the subject of great literary output. Not to mention the likes of photographer Peter Magubane.

It is also home to some of the household names in present-day South African literature, most notably Niq Mhlongo.

Make no mistake, Soweto is as close as you are going to come to a literary capital of South Africa.

And I believe all races will come to Soweto for such a literary festival. I believe it can become a truly international festival if the city fathers of Johannesburg follow through on their standard letters: ‘We thank you for your interest in the City of Johannesburg. We will be in touch with you shortly.’ 10 years have passed since I got a letter like this from the National Department of Arts and Culture about South Africa’s national Booktown in the Karoo. Two years have passed since I gave the mayor’s office the greatest idea in the history of book festivals for Johannesburg.

So what I want to see after this article is officials serving the people.

I will not be going to them, especially not after an Afrikaans organisation like the ATKV has made a literary festival in Soweto possible. They must come to me, because that will show they truly believe in the potential of such a project. And that they value black writers.

The problem does not only lie with Franschhoek. It lies with departments of arts and culture all over South Africa who have failed the black writers of this country. It is a sad indictment that after 21 years of democracy no black township has a literary festival. It is a sad indictment that there is no statue to the likes of Miriam Tlali. To Mongane Wally Serote. To Alex la Guma. To Herbert Dhlomo and to his brother RRR Dhlomo.

So I am taking a leap of faith and hoping that ordinary people – black, brown, white and all shades in between – will attend Soweto’s first literary festival, because every talk, every performance will be free to the public, like we do in Booktown Richmond.

I am taking a leap of faith and hoping that all writers will give freely of their talents for a worthy project.

I am taking a leap of faith and hoping that publishers will sponsor writers’ costs to this festival and not opt for Franschhoek because it offers you the publisher’s picture-perfect landscapes and vats full of that greatest lubricator of social intercourse.

I am taking a leap of faith and hoping that in 2017 the Sunday Times will present the Sunday Times Literary Awards at the second Soweto Literary Festival.

I am taking a leap of faith and hoping that the South African Publishers Association will resurrect the SA Book Fair at the 2017 Soweto Literary Festival.

But even if all else fails, we will do this the Booktown Richmond way. No more meetings. No more workshops. We will just do it. One book at a time!

I will remain Forever BookBedonnerd.

The Soweto Literary Festival will be held at the magnificent Soweto Theatre.

It is the obvious venue because symbolically there can be no better choice of venue with its multitude of colours to signify the coming together of writers of all races.

People who would like to get involved for the love of literature, “with no hope of remuneration”, are asked please to contact David on davidd@ukzn.ac.za or godyssey5@gmail.co.za
 

  • Darryl Earl David was the only Indian lecturer of Afrikaans in South Africa for over two decades. At the beginning of 2016 he was redeployed to the English Department at UKZN after Afrikaans was discontinued there. He is better known as the founder of Booktown Richmond in the Karoo town of Richmond. He is the founder of the Zulu Literary Museum at UKZN and of the SA Independent Publishers Awards for Best Self-Published Books, and also the founder and director of a number of literary festivals in the country.

 
Soweto Theatre image: Heritage Collection/Darryl David image: Supplied

2016 Writivism Short Story Prize longlist announced after record entries

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Alert! The 2016 Writivism Short Story Prize longlist has been announced, including local writers Megan Ross and Catherine Shepherd, and Tanzanian Noella Moshi, who lives in South Africa.

The Writivism Short Story Prize is an annual award for emerging African writers administered by the Center for African Cultural Excellence (CACE). Entrants must be unpublished writers, resident in an African country.

Entries in French were accepted for the first time this year.

This is the longest Writivism longlist to date, at 21 stories, after a record number of over 500 entries.

A group of readers whittled the list down to 100 stories, which were then sent to the judges for consideration. The 2016 judging panel is Tsitsi Dangarembga (Chair), Richard Ali Mutu, Sumayya Lee, Okwiri Oduor and Mamadou Diallo.

The winner will receive prize money of $400 (about R6,000), while all shortlisted writers receive $100 and travel to Kampala, Uganda for the annual Writivism Festival. All longlisted stories are published in the annual Writivism anthology, which will be edited this year by Emmanuel Sigauke.

Previous winners of the award include Johannesburger Saaleha Idrees Bamjee, Pemi Aguda of Nigeria and Ugandan writer Anthea Paelo.

2016 Writivism Short Story Prize longlist

Laure Gnagbé Blédou, for “Jene suis pas rentree”
Idza Luhumyo, for “Decisive Moments”
Aito Osemegbe Joseph, for “The List”
Merdi Muintshe, for “Un Certain 36 Novembrre”
Mathyas Kouadio, for “La Voie De Son Coeur”
Megan Ross, for “Duiweltjie”
Acan Innocent Immaculate, for “Sun Down”
Doreen Anyango, for “Levels”
Gloria Mwaniga Odary, for “Boyi”
Praise Nabimanya, for “Free Fall”
Aïssa Tâ, for “Un Couple Qui En Dit Long”
Frances Ogamba, for “Subtle Defence”
Le K-Yann, for “Poison D’avril”
Bura-Bari Nwilo, for “Like Eyes Liquid With Hope”
Sese Yane, for “We Will Be Safe”
Noella Moshi, for “Possession”
Jude Mutuma, for “Grey Love”
Abu Amirah, for “The Swahilification Of Mutembei”
Acidri Malunga, for “The Story Not Told”
Catherine Shepherd, for “The Woman’s Way”
Farai Mudzingwa, for “A Native Metamorphosis”

Image courtesy of Writivism

2016 Open Book Festival: Confirmed international and local authors announced

2016 Open Book Festival: Confirmed international and local authors announced

 

Alert! The Open Book Festival has announced the first group of confirmed international and local authors for this year’s event.

The sixth annual Open Book will take place from 7 to 11 September in Cape Town.

This year’s festival will comprise more than 100 events, at The Fugard Theatre, the District Six Homecoming Centre and The Book Lounge.

The final programme will be available in early August, and tickets will be available on Webtickets.

“We are thrilled to be announcing the first group of authors for Open Book Festival 2016,” festival director Mervyn Sloman says. “We have confirmed participants joining us from Botswana, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Ghana, Holland, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Reunion, United Kingdom and USA.

“As always we look forward to an outstanding collection of powerful South African writers talking about their work on the international stage that Open Book provides.

“I can’t wait to see the impact the likes of Pumla Dineo Gqola, Fred Khumalo, Bongani Madondo, Mohale Mashigo and Yewande Omotoso are going to have on Cape Town audiences. These writers are the tip of a very exciting iceberg that gives us cause for celebration in the SA book world that has many real and difficult challenges.”

RapeBitches' BrewSigh The Beloved CountryThe YearningThe Woman Next Door

 

Check out the confirmed international authors:

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Adeiye “MC Complex” Tjon Tam Pau is a coach and workshop master for Poetry Circle Nowhere – a collective of writing performers in the Netherlands – and is active in the Dutch and international hip-hop scene.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
nullReacher Said Nothing
Andy Martin is a lecturer in French literature and philosophy at the University of Cambridge. Most recently he published Reacher Said Nothing, a book about Lee Child writing his 21st Reacher novel, Make Me
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
nullThe Bear's Surprise
Benjamin Chaud was born in Briançon in the Hautes-Alpes and he studied drawing and applied arts at the Arts Appliqués in Paris and the Arts Décoratifs in Strasbourg. His award-winning books have been translated into over 20 languages.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
nullThe Fishermen
Chigozie Obioma was born in Nigeria and is currently the professor of Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His debut novel, The Fishermen, was an international hit.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
nullWhat Belongs to You
Garth Greenwell‘s novella Mitko won the 2010 Miami University Press Novella Prize and was a finalist for the Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction and a Lambda Literary Award. What Belongs to You is his debut novel.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
nullDaydreams of Angels
Heather O’Neill is a Canadian novelist, poet, short-story writer, screenwriter and essayist. Lullabies for Little Criminals, her debut novel, was published in 2006 to international critical acclaim. She has since published the novel The Girl Who Was Saturday Night and the short story collection Daydreams of Angels.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
nullDracula
Hippolyte resides in Reunion but was born and raised in the Alps, where he got his interest in comics by reading old American comic books. He gained success with his adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, published in two volumes by Vents d’Ouest in 2003 and 2004.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

nullThree Words
Indira Neville is a New Zealand comics artist, community organiser, editor and commentator. She has been making comics for over 20 years. Recently, she co-edited the anthology Three Words, a collection of Aotearoa/New Zealand women’s comics.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
nullThe World According to Anna
Jostein Gaarder is the author of several novels, short stories and children’s books, including Sophie’s World, which was translated into 60 languages and has sold over 40 million copies. His most recent novel translated into English is The World According to Anna.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

nullThe Prophets of Eternal Fjord
Kim Leine is a Danish-Norwegian novelist. He received the Golden Laurel award and the Nordic Council’s Literature Prize for his novel, The Prophets of Eternal Fjord.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
nullThe Scattering
Lauri Kubuitsile lives in Botswana. She has written children’s books, short stories, novellas and several romance novels. The Scattering, her most recent novel, was published this year.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
nullThe Gonjon Pin and Other Stories
Martin Egblewogbe is a short story writer, lecturer in Physics at the University of Ghana and the co-founder of the Writers Project of Ghana. His short story “The Gonjon Pin” is the title story in the 2014 Caine Prize collection.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
nullBorderline
Journalist Michela Wrong has spent nearly two decades writing about Africa. In 2014 she was appointed literary director of the Miles Morland Foundation and is a trustee of Human Rights Watch Africa, the Africa Research Institute and the NGO Justice Africa. She is the author of a number of non-fiction books. Borderlines is her first novel.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
nullNemesis
Misha Glenny is a distinguished investigative journalist and one of the world’s leading experts on cybercrime and on global mafia networks. He is the author of several books, most recently Nemesis: One Man and the Battle for Rio.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
nullWhen the Moon is Low
Nadia Hashimi‘s parents left Afghanistan in the 1970s, before the Soviet invasion. She was raised in the United States and in 2002 made her first trip to Afghanistan. Her debut novel, The Pearl That Broke Its Shell, was an international bestseller. When The Moon Is Low followed in 2015 and her latest novel is due in 2016.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
nullBinti
Nnedi Okorafor is an award-winning novelist of African-based science fiction, fantasy and magical realism for both children and adults. Her novella, Binti, recently won a prestigious Nebula Award.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
nullThe Winter War
Philip Teir is considered one of the most promising writers in Finland. His poetry and short stories have been included in anthologies, including Granta Finland. The Winter War is his first novel.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
nullCarnival
Rawi Hage was born in Beirut and lived through nine years of the Lebanese civil war during the 1970s and 1980s. He emigrated to Canada in 1992 and now lives in Montreal. His first novel, De Niro’s Game, won the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. His most recent novel, Carnival, won the Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
nullStalin's Daughter
Rosemary Sullivan is the author of 14 books, including biographies, children’s books and poetry. She is currently Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto. In 2012, she was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in Ontario and was inducted as an Officer of the Order of Canada (Canada’s highest civilian award) for outstanding contributions to Canadian Literature and Culture.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
nullYour Heart Is a Muscle the Size of a Fist
Sunil Yapa is the son of a Sri Lankan father and an American mother. He received his MFA from Hunter College in New York City in 2010, was awarded the Alumni Scholarship & Welfare Fund Fellowship, and was twice selected as a Hertog Fellow. He is the recipient of the 2010 Asian American Short Story Award. Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist is his first novel.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Africa is calling: Call for entries for the 2016 Etisalat Prize for Literature - and judges announced

Call for entries for the 2016 Etisalat Prize for Literature - and judges announced

 
Etisalat has announced its call for entries for the 2016 edition of the Etisalat Prize for Literature.

The Etisalat Prize for Literature is a Pan African prize that celebrates debut African writers of published fiction. Previous winners are Zimbabwe’s NoViolet Bulawayo (2013), South Africa’s Songeziwe Mahlangu (2014) and Democratic Republic of Congo’s Fiston Mwanza Mujila (2015).

We Need New NamesPenumbraTram 83

 
The winner receives a cash prize of £15,000 (about R325,000) in addition to a fellowship at the prestigious University of East Anglia, UK, under the mentorship of Professor Giles Foden, the award-winning author of The Last King of Scotland.

The Etisalat Prize also incorporates an award for Flash Fiction; an online-based competition for non-published African writers of short stories.

Matthew Willsher, CEO of Etisalat Nigeria, said at a press briefing in Lagos, Nigeria, that the prize is designed to serve as a leading platform for the discovery and encouraging of creative writing talents as well as the celebration of literary arts by African writers.

“We are delighted to champion the cause for celebrating the richness and strength of African literature,” he said. “The Etisalat Prize for Literature is about discovering and bringing to the world stage the many creative talent Africa boasts of.

“The Etisalat Prize is about creativity, excellence, empowerment and reward; it is about celebrating our African diversity in very innovative ways through various forms of art, literature being one of them.”

Willsher added that only books by debut writers, published not later than 24 months before submission, will qualify for entry. “They must also be by registered publishing houses not less than six years as incorporated publishers with registered ISBN Number or the equivalent, and who must have published a minimum of six authors. All entries should be accompanied by seven copies of the book entered along with an acceptance of our publicity terms. A publisher may submit a maximum of three books.”

The rules and guidelines for entry are available on the Etisalat Prize website.

Willsher also announced the judging panel for the 2016 Etisalat Prize. The panel comprises Nigerian novelist and poet Helon Habila (chair), South African writer and activist Elinor Sisulu and Ivorian writer, Edwige Rene Dro.

About the judging panel

Waiting for an AngelMeasuring TimeOil on WaterThe Granta Book of the African Short StoryNigerian-born Helon Habila is a writer, poet, author and an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at George Mason University, USA. His novels include, Waiting for an Angel (2002), Measuring Time (2007), and Oil on Water (2010). He is the editor of the Granta Book of African Short Story (2011).

Habila’s novels, poems, and short stories have won many honours and awards, including the Commonwealth Prize for Best First Novel (Africa Section), the Caine Prize, the Virginia Library Foundation Prize for fiction and most recently the Windham-Campbell Prize.

Habila has been a contributing editor for the Virginia Quarterly Review since 2004, and he is a regular reviewer for The Guardian.

The Day Gogo Went to VoteWalter and Albertina SisuluElinor Sisulu is a Zimbabwean-born South Africa writer and human rights activist. Sisulu combines training in history, English literature, development studies and feminist theory from institutions in Zimbabwe, Senegal and the Netherlands.

She is the author of the award-winning children’s book The Day Gogo Went to Vote. Her biography on her parents-in-law, Walter and Albertina Sisulu: In Our Lifetime secured her the prestigious 2003 Noma Award for publishing in Africa.

Sisulu’s involvement in book promotion and literary development efforts for many years has culminated in her work with the Puku Children’s Literature Foundation. She has been a judge for the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize, the Sanlam Youth Literature Prize and the Penguin Africa Writer’s Competition.

Africa39Edwige-Renée Dro is an Ivorian writer and a translator. She is one of the 39 most promising voices under 40 from Africa, south of the Sahara as decided by the Africa39 project. She was the 2015 PEN International New Voices award judge.

Dro currently works as the director of Danbé Collection, a new imprint of l’Harmattan Editions with a focus on the promotion of Ivorian literature in Abidjan. Her short stories have been published in anthologies and literary journals.

 
 
 

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