Cheluchi Onyemelukwe’s novel The Son of The House won the best international fiction prize at the Sharjah International Book Fair 2019 on October 30, 2019.
The Sharjah International Book Fair is one of the leading festivals in the Middle East and Africa region with this year’s edition. At the opening ceremony, the fair typically awards the best books written over the last year by local and international writers. The international prize, worth 50,000 AED, has been won by among others David Baldacci, Sorraya Khan, and Lauri Kubuitsile.
The winner of the 2019 edition of the prize announced on Wednesday, October 30 is Cheluchi Onyemelukwe’s debut novel The Son of The House. Published by Penguin Random House (South Africa) and Parrésia (Nigeria), it has the following blurb;
In the city of Enugu in the 1970s, young Nwabulu dreams of becoming a typist as she endures her employers’ endless chores. Although a housemaid since the age of ten, she is tall and beautiful and in love with a rich man’s son.
Educated and privileged, Julie is a modern woman. Living on her own, she is happy to collect the gold jewellery love-struck Eugene brings her, but has no intention of becoming his second wife.
When dramatic events straight out of a movie force Nwabulu and Julie into a dank room years later, the two women relate the stories of their lives as they await their fate.
Pulsing with vitality and intense human drama, Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia’s debut is set against four decades of vibrant Nigeria, and celebrates the resilience of women as they navigate and transform what remains a man’s world.
The newly minted award-winner stated on her win; “I am excited, thankful, humbled and ecstatic at the love and warm reception for The Son of the House! What a truly amazing year this has been so far! Thank you to both my publishing houses, Penguin Random House South Africa and Parresia for loving this book and nominating it. Thank you to those who have loved me through the years and who have believed in my talent, my family, friends, and teachers. In particular, I am grateful that my parents are alive to see these lovely things happen.”
Check out the book’s trailer below. Yes, it has a trailer.