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