9Mobile Prize Literature 2017 longlist

The nine books on the longlist for the 9mobile Prize for Literature 2017, formerly the Etisalat Prize, have been announced.

The 9mobile Prize for Literature was born in 2013 as the Etisalat Prize for Literature to showcase the best in African literature. The prize, then sponsored by Nigerian telecommunications company Etisalat, was open to a debut novel or short story collection from an African writer and the best in the year would be picked by an esteemed panel of judges. The prize has since its beginning been won by Noviolet Bulawayo (2013), Songeziwe Mahlangu (2014), Fiston Mwanza Mujila (2015), and Jowhor Ile (2016).

This year, the prize rebranded to the 9Mobile Prize for Literature after the former company Etisalat left Nigeria. Just like in previous years, the winner would take home 15,000 pounds and a fellowship at the University of East Anglia to study creative writing.

This judging panel Harry Garuba, Doreen Baingana, and Siphiwo Mahala, announced earlier in the year, have unveiled the longlist for 2018. Chair Garuba said in a statement announcing the longlist that the books entered for the 9mobile Prize 2018 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. 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 longlist in full is;

  • What it Means When a Man Falls Down from the Sky by Lesley Nneka Arimah (Kachifo Limited).
  • Like it Matters by David Cornwell (Penguin Random House).
  • Radio Sunrise by Anietie Isong (Jacaranda Books).
  • Taduno’s Song by Odafe Atogun (Canongate Books).
  • The Printmaker by Bronwyn Law-Viljoen (Penguin Random House).
  • Stay with Me by Ayobami Adebayo (Canongate Books).
  • Being Kari by Qarnita Loxton (Kwela Books).
  • Asylum by Marcus Low (Picador Africa).
  • A Casualty of Power by Mukuka Chipanta (Weaver Press).

The shortlist will be announced in January 2018 with the winner announced shortly afterwards.