Two Cassava Republic titles have made the shortlist for the $100,000 (£76,874.59) Nigeria Prize for Literature.
The shortlisted titles are Born on a Tuesday by Elnathan John and Season of Crimson Blossoms by Abubakar Adam Ibrahim.
Born on a Tuesday follows a young man in contemporary northern Nigeria which has over the years experienced religious violence and carnage. Season of Crimson Blossoms is also set in conservative northern Nigeria. It focuses on unusual love affairs between characters, as well as ambiguities in religion and politics.
The other title in contention for the $100,000 prize is Chika Unigwe’s Night Dancer (Jonathan Cape), which follows the young protagonist on her search for identity and consequent reappraisal of her mother’s values.
The winner will be announced at a World Press Conference in October.
The chair of the panel of judges is Professor Dan Izevbaye, literary critic and professor of Literature in English. Other judges are Asabe Usman Kabir, professor of Oral and African Literatures at Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto; and Isidore Diala, first winner of The Nigeria Prize for Literary Criticism and professor of African literature in the department of English, Imo State University, Owerri.
The Nigeria Prize for Literature rotates yearly amongst four literary genres: prose fiction, poetry, drama and children’s literature. The 2016 prize is for prose fiction and comes with a cash reward of $100, 000. Next year’s prize will be for poetry. A total of 173 entries for the prize were received this year.