Adebayo up for £15k African Literature prize

Adebayo up for £15k African Literature prize

Ayobami Adebayo's Bailey's Prize-shortlisted novel Stay With Me (Canongate) is in the running for the £15,000 9mobile Prize for Literature awarded to the best debut African fiction, alongside titles from Jacaranda and Tinder Press.

UK indie Canongate also has Taduno’s Song by Odafe Atogun on the longlist for the prize. From Jacaranda Books is Radio Sunrise by Anietie Isong and from Tinder Press is What it Means When a Man Falls Down from the Sky by Lesley Nneka Arimah.

Also longlisted are the titles Being Kari by Qarnita Loxton, Asylum by Marcus Low, Like it Matters by David Cornwell and The Printmaker by Bronwyn Law-Viljoen which are not yet published in the UK.

A Casualty of Power by Mukuka Chipanta from Zimbabwean press Weaver Press rounds out the longlist.

This year’s judging panel, chaired by Professor Harry Garuba, includes Ugandan short story writer and editor Doreen Baingana and South African writer Siphiwo Mahala.

Garuba said that the books entered for the 2018 9mobile Prize "testify to the abundance of talented new voices" emerging from the African continent. “The entries range through a variety of themes and preoccupations that mirror the expanse and diversity of the continent", said Garuba. "The care and craft that the authors bring to the exploration of their chosen themes show a level of skill and artistry not often found in first works of fiction. These works give us a glimpse of the exciting literary landscapes ahead for African fiction.

The winner will be awarded £15,000 and a fellowship at the University of East Anglia to study creative writing.

A shortlist of three writers will be announced shortly.

The 9mobile Prize for Literature is run by Nigerian phone company 9mobile, formerly called Etisalat. The prize, formerly the Etisalat Prize for Literature, has been running since 2013.