Three Nigerians nominated for 2019 Women’s Prize for Literature

Three female Nigerian authors, Oyinkan Braithwaite, Emezi Akwaeke and Diana Evans have been nominated for the 2019 Women’s Prize for Fiction.

The Women’s Prize for Fiction, previously known as the Orange Prize for Fiction and the Baileys Women’s Prize For Fiction, is one of the most prestigious literary awards in the world.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Braithwaite was nominated for her book ‘My Sister, The Serial Killer’, Emezi for ‘Freshwater’ and Evans for ‘Ordinary People’

‘My Sister, The Serial Killer’ tells the story of the complex relationship between a glamorous Lagos fashion designer and her responsible older sister, who’s always ready with bleach and rubber gloves to help cover up a crime.

Emezi’s ‘Freshwater’ explores the multiple voices of an Igbo god living within a young woman.

Female authors nominated for prize for fiction

Evans’ ‘Ordinary People’ cleverly exposes the melancholy of suburban middle-class black people using celebrity events. The book opens at a party thrown in honour of Barack Obama’s presidential victory in 2008.

The prestigious prize has honoured many great authors since it was launched in 1996, including Chimamanda Adichie, who won in 2007 for ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’.

NAN reports that the award gives a significant career boost and it comes with a £30,000 ($40,000) prize.

It was created after the Bookers Prize of 1991 where none of the six shortlisted books was by a woman, despite 60 per cent of novels that year being published by female authors.

Chaired by Prof. Kate Williams, the 2019 judging panel includes journalists Dolly Alderton and Arifa Akbar, anti-FGM activist Leyla Hussein.

female authors nominated for fiction awards

NAN reports that Sarah Wood OBE, the chair and co-founder of the global video advertising marketplace, Unruly, was also on the panel.

Oyinkan Braithwaite is a graduate of Creative Writing and Law from Kingston University. Following her degree, she worked as an assistant editor at Kachifo and has been freelancing as a writer and editor since. She has had short stories published in anthologies and has also self published work.

Akwaeke Emezi is an Igbo and Tamil writer and video artist. Their debut novel Freshwater was a New York Times Notable Book. They won the 2017 Commonwealth Short Story Prize for Africa, and are a 2018 National Book Foundation ‘5 Under 35’ honoree. Emezi identifies as a non-binary trans person.

Diana Evans, also known as Diana Omo Evans, is a novelist, journalist and critic who was born and lives in London. Evans has written three full-length novels. Her first novel, 26a, published in 2005, won the Orange Award for New Writers, the Betty Trask Award and the deciBel Writer of the Year award.

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