Etisalat Nigeria has announced a shortlist of three very strong writers in the 2014 Etisalat Prize for Literature competition.
The shortlisted writers and their works are Nadia Davids, An Imperfect Blessing published by Random House Struik-Umuzi; Chinelo Okparanta, Happiness Like Water published by Granta Publication and Songeziwe Mahlangu, Penumbra published by Kwela Books, Imprint of NB Publishers.
The judges say they are delighted at the quality of entries that has brought to the fore a strong shortlist of three contenders. According to Sarah Ladipo Manyika, the Chair, Panel of Judges, Etisalat Prize for Literature, “from a strong long list we are now delighted to announce this year’s shortlist which showcases hitherto untold stories from across the continent and beyond.”
The strength of the shortlist is exemplified in the belief that any of the shortlisted writers would make a worthy winner. “Whether it is David’s multigenerational family story set in Cape Town’s Muslim community at the dawn of the new South Africa, or Okparanta’s bittersweet tales of loss and love in Nigeria and abroad, or Mahlangu’s unflinching exploration of mental illness set in contemporary South Africa, each of these books is uniquely compelling. This is a shortlist that delights in the newness of the topics being explored and in the diversity of narrative form. From short stories, to the short novel, to the epic novel – each is a gem in its own right,” Manyika concluded.
Matthew Willsher, Chief Executive Officer at Etisalat Nigeria, expressed delight at the quality of writers the competition has attracted to the Etisalat Prize for Literature competition. “The entries are a fulfillment of Etisalat’s goal of encouraging talents and improving literacy in the African continent. We commend the judges for the work they have done so far on this year’s competition and we are delighted with the strong shortlist which will ensure that a worthy winner will emerge. We will continue to encourage and recognize upcoming talents,”said Willsher.
The winner of the Etisalat Prize for Literature 2014 will be presented with a cheque of £15,000, an engraved Montblanc Meisterstück and will attend the Etisalat Fellowship at the prestigious University of East Anglia, mentored by Professor Giles Foden, author of “The Last King of Scotland”.