There were no Africans in the Windham Campbell Prize selections that were announced earlier in the month. Sob.
So every year, we all eagerly look through our emails hoping to hear that we are the winners of the coolest awards on the planet. This award was founded by lifelong partners, Donald Windham and Sandy M. Campbell who were avid book collectors and voracious readers. Windham wrote memoirs, novels, plays, short stories, and a children’s book. Campbell was a stage actor who also penned unsigned book reviews for The New Yorker and contributed articles to Harper’s Magazine and other publications. With this award, writers are called from the blue and told that they would be given US$150,000 prize money at a ceremony in Yale University. The prize is given in fiction, non-fiction and drama.
Previous African winners of the award include folks like South African Ivan Vladislavic, Nigeria’s Helon Habila and Teju Cole last year. Also winning a share of the booty was Sierra Leonean Aminatta Forna who won in 2014 and South African Zoe Wicomb in 2013.
It looks like this is not a happy year for the African writer as none were picked to have a part of the prize this year. Sigh. We’ll get them next year.