Alain Mabanckou

Alain Mabanckou

The Man Booker International Prize highlights one writer’s overall contribution to fiction on the world stage. It seeks out literary excellence the judges consider a writer’s body of work rather than a single novel. Both prizes strive to recognise and reward the finest modern literature. The an award goes with a handy £60,000.

The judges for the Man Booker International Prize 2015, now in its sixth year, have unveiled this years ten finalists at a press conference at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. The judges are led by the chair Prof Marina Warner a writer and academic and include Nadeem Aslam a novelist, Elleke Boehmer a novelist, critic and Professor, Edwin Frank the editorial director of the New York Review Classics series and Wen-chin Ouyang Professor of Arabic and Comparative Literature at SOAS, University of London.

Mia Couto

Mia Couto

Mozambican author Mia Couto, Alain Mabanckou from the Republic of Congo, Libya Ibrahim al-Koni and South African Marlene van Niekerk are in the running for the award. The full list includes;

  • César Aira (Argentina)
  • Hoda Barakat (Lebanon)
  • Maryse Condé (Guadeloupe)
  • Mia Couto (Mozambique)
  • Amitav Ghosh (India)
  • Fanny Howe (United States of America)
  • Ibrahim al-Koni (Libya)
  • László Krasznahorkai (Hungary)
  • Alain Mabanckou (Republic of Congo)
  • Marlene van Niekerk (South Africa)
Marlene van Niekerk

Marlene van Niekerk

Ibrahim al-Koni

Ibrahim al-Koni

Two of the four African writers on the list have already being mentioned in this blog. Mozambican author Mia Couto won the PEN translation awards last year while Alain Mabanckou was a judge for the just ended Etisalat Prize for African Literature.

You know that we are pinning for one of them to go home with the big prize. We are selfish like that.

Update: An earlier version of this blog was made with the title “Three Africans Make Man Booker International Prize finalist list.” I had missed out on the fact that there was a Libyan author on the list in my rush to go to web first. The oversight was pointed out to me by Twitter account books about Africa. Thanks for the correction sir/madam.