Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi

Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi wins Windham-Campbell Prize 2018

Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi alongside seven other writers, is the recipient of the Windham-Campbell Prize 2018. The prize worth $165,000 USD / £118,775 GBP to the winners is one of the most lucrative in world literature.

The Windham-Campbell Prize, established in 2013 with a gift from the late Donald Windham in memory of his partner of 40 years, Sandy M. Campbell, is one of the richest and most prestigious literary prizes today. English language writers from anywhere in the world are nominated confidentially and judged anonymously. The Windham-Campbell Prizes are administered by the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University.

There have been African winners of the prize for this prize with Aminatta Forna taking the nod in 2014 while Teju Cole, Helon Habila, and Ivan Vladislavić took the honours in the year that followed.

The director of the Windham-Campbell Prizes recently made the call of a lifetime to eight entirely surprised writers, informing them that they will each be recognized with a $165,000 USD / £118,775 GBP prize to support their writing. The call that Prize recipients receive from program director Michael Kelleher is the first time that they have learned of their consideration.

“The day I make the call to notify award recipients is the highlight of the year, as each cycle I hear how much of a difference it will make for them,” said Kelleher. “Six years on, we can now to see the impact the prizes have on these writers’ lives, careers, and their work. The feeling is magical.”

This year’s recipients are: in drama, Lucas Hnath (US) and Suzan-Lori Parks (US); in nonfiction, Sarah Bakewell (UK) and Olivia Laing (UK); in fiction, John Keene (US) and Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi (Uganda/UK); and in poetry, Lorna Goodison (Jamaica) and Cathy Park Hong (US).

For any regular reader of this blog they will know that we are huge fans of the Manchester based Ugandan writer in the above list. Here is her full biography of the writer.

Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi

Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi is a Ugandan novelist and short story writer living in Manchester, England. Her debut novel, Kintu, won the Kwani? Manuscript Project Award in 2013, and was subsequently published by Transit Books (US) and Oneworld Publications (UK/Commonwealth). Kintu tells the parallel stories of the fall of a cursed bloodline—the titular Kintu clan—and the rise of modern Uganda. Kintu would go on to be longlisted for the Etisalat Prize for African Literature in 2014.

Apart from her debut novel Kintu, she won the Commonwealth Short Story Prize in 2014 for Africa and for the globe. She was also shortlisted for the Morland Writing Scholarship 2015.

Her collection of short stories, Love Made in Manchester, is forthcoming from Transit Books in January 2019.

The awards will be conferred September 12-14 at an international literary festival at Yale, where the Prizes are based.

You can read about the other winners here

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