Fiston Mwanza Mujila, Penny Busetto and Rehana Rossouw are the three shortlisted authors for the Etisalat Prize for Literature 2015.
The shortlisted writers will be rewarded with a sponsored multi-city book tour and will also have 1,000 copies of their books purchased by Etisalat for distribution to schools, libraries and book clubs across the Continent.
The three books, selected from the longlist of nine, are:
- Fiston Mwanza Mujila (Democratic Republic of Congo) – Tram 83 (Deep Vellum)
- Penny Busetto (South Africa) – The Story of Anna P, as Told by Herself (Jacana Media)
- Rehana Rossouw (South Africa) – What Will People Say? (Jacana Media)
The shortlist was selected by a three-member judging panel: Professor Ato Quayson, Professor of English and inaugural Director of the Centre for Diaspora Studies at the University of Toronto (Chair of Judges); Molara Wood, writer, journalist, critic and editor; and Zukiswa Wanner, author of Men of the South and London Cape Town Joburg.
Chair of judges, Professor Ato Quayson, said: “The variety of styles and subject matter of the books on this year’s Etisalat Prize for Literature shortlist reveal the vitality of contemporary African literature. They contribute to our understanding of what it is to love, to laugh, to improvise, sometimes to despair, to know and yet be fooled by the assurance of such knowledge, to work for our ablution in the fate of another’s suffering, and ultimately to embrace life in all its bewildering complexities.”
Zukiswa Wanner adds: “This year’s Etisalat Prize for Literature shortlist showcases the varied voices emerging on the African literary scene, bringing something beautiful and unique to the reading experience.”
The third member of the judging panel, Molara Wood said: “The shortlisted books challenge ready notions about new writing from Africa. They expand the field of literary engagement with themes of nationhood and the self. These are highly original voices whose works will charm and astonish new readers, through the Etisalat Prize for Literature, and deservedly so.
Previous winners of the Etisalat Prize for Literature include NoViolet Bulawayo for We Need New Names in 2013 and Songeziwe Mahlangu in 2014 for Penumbra.
The winner of the 2015 Etisalat Prize for Literature will be announced in March and will receive £15,000, an engraved Montblanc Meisterstück pen. The Prize also includes an Etisalat sponsored fellowship at the University of East Anglia, mentored by Professor Giles Foden, author of The Last King of Scotland.