4 Nigerians make long list of James Currey Prize for African Literature 2022

Four Nigerians are on the long list of 10 authors for the 2022 James Currey Prize for African Literature.

Rose Okeke—’Corn Child’; Sumaila Isah Umaisha—’House of Glass’; Esomnofu Ebelenna Tobenna—’Madness’ and Chima Ugokwe—’Drumbeat of the Gods’, all made the long list as they hope to follow the second winner of the award. A Nigerian, Ani Kayode Somtochukwu won the inaugural award in 2021.

The James Currey Prize for African Literature is an annual prize rewarding the best work of unpublished fiction written in English by a writer, set in Africa or about Africans in Africa or in the diaspora. It was established in 2020 by Nigerian writer, filmmaker and editor Onyeka Nwelue, in honor of James Currey, editor of scholarly books on Africa.

A shortlist will be released on July 1, followed by the announcement of the winner on September 3 at a scheduled awards ceremony at Oxford University during the James Currey Literary Festival. The winner receives £1000.

The 2022 jury includes Ever Obi, Indian author and scholar, Dr. Suraj Yengde; Teri Sillo (UK); Thomas Dukelabik Amanquandor (Ghana); Peace Anyiam-Osigwe (Nigeria), Olukorede S Yishau (Nigeria) and Charmaine R Mujeri (Zimbabwe).

Ever Obi, the president of the jury, said in a statement: “I am pleased to announce the long list of the 2022 James Currey Prize for African Literature. The College of Readers sent 20 entries, which we as the jury had to narrow down to a long list of 10. The 20 manuscripts for the competition were distributed among all the members of the jury, in no particular order. We have now evaluated them, using our criteria and guidelines to come up with a long list.

Others on the long list are Mohammed Hammie—’Mandiga’s Well’ (Tanzania); David Ngumi — ‘The Hitman’ (Kenya); Buntu Siwisa — Paperless (South Africa); Evanson Njuki — “If war was a country” (Kenya); Abenea Ndago—’Lord Kitchener’ (Kenya); and Peter Muigai — “In the Castle of My Heart” (Kenya).

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