Aminatta Forna is on the Ondaatje Prize 2019 shortlist announced today, April 17, 2019, for her novel Happiness.
The Royal Society of Literature’s Ondaatje Prize is an annual award of £10,000 for a distinguished work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry, best evoking the spirit of a place. The prize sponsored by Sir Christopher Ondaatje has been running for the last fifteen years. Previous winners of the prize have been Pascale Petit (2018), Francis Spufford (2017), Peter Pomerantsev (2016), and Justin Marozzi (2015).
In March, the prize took the unprecedented decision to announce a long list of 20 books in the running. That prize had three Africans in Aminatta Forna, Emmanuel Iduma, and Jamal Mahjoub featuring.
The team at the Ondaatje Prize 2019 have announced the shortlist today and those in the running for the big payday are;
- Rania Abouzeid No Turning Back: Life, Loss, and Hope in Wartime Syria (Oneworld).
- Aida Edemariam The Wife’s Tale: A Personal History (4th Estate).
- Aminatta Forna Happiness (Bloomsbury) Sarah Moss Ghost Wall (Granta).
- Guy Stagg The Crossway (Picador)
- Adam Weymouth Kings of the Yukon: A River Journey (Particular Books)
Judging these books are Sabrina Mahfouz, Michèle Roberts, and Ian Thomson. Their decision on a winner will be revealed at a ceremony on May 13, 2019.
Update: Aida Edemariam has won the prize for The Wife’s Tale.