A letter to the Man Booker Prize 2014 judging panel


AC Grayling,,
Chair of judges,
Man Booker Prize 2014,

Re: Lack of African Authors on Man Booker Prize

I am happy to note that you have earlier today announced the Man Booker Prize longlist earlier today and the names on the list are quite impressive and are listed here;

  • Joshua Ferris (US) – To Rise Again at a Decent Hour
  • Richard Flanagan (Australia) – The Narrow Road to the Deep North
  • Karen Joy Fowler (US) – We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
  • Siri Hustvedt (US) – The Blazing World
  • Howard Jacobson (Britain) – J
  • Paul Kingsnorth (Britain) – The Wake
  • David Mitchell (Britain) – The Bone Clocks
  • Neel Mukherjee (Britain) – The Lives of Others
  • David Nicholls (Britain) – Us
  • Joseph O’Neill (Ireland) – The Dog
  • Richard Powers (US) – Orfeo
  • Ali Smith (Britain) – How to Be Both
  • Niall Williams (Ireland) – History of the Rain

There is no African author on this esteemed list of authors and this letter is a complaint about that. As you are aware last year’s award had Zimbabwe’s Noviolet Bulawayo as a shortlisted author. You can imagine the prestige that this brought to people on the continent and the amount of traffic I got to my blog when I wrote about it as a leading blogger of African literature. Now with your failure to longlist any African authors, you have denied me the opportunity to be as important as I was last year. Last year’s awards coverage gained me an “army of fans” and made me really cool to my friends as I gave exclusive coverage from my part of the world. Now what am I to do? Blog about the opening of Text Book Centre’s newest book store at the TRM Mall on Thika Road? There’s no international traffic in that!

You have to help a brother out. Pretty please?

James Murua

6 Replies to “A letter to the Man Booker Prize 2014 judging panel”

    1. Its not easy waiting for all the glory and then you are denied just like that. It will heal but these things take time…

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