Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi and Patrice Lawrence were declared the winners of the Jhalak Prize 2021 on May 25, 2021.
The Jhalak Prize for Book of the Year by a Writer of Colour is an annual literary prize awarded to British or British-resident BAME (Black, Asian and Minority ethnic) writers. The Jhalak Prize, launched in 2016, was created by writers Sunny Singh and Nikesh Shukla as well as Media Diversified. Previous winners of the award have been Jacob Ross (2017), Reni Eddo-Lodge (2018), Guy Gunaratne (2019), and Johny Pitts (2020).
The judges for the 2021 edition of the prize for adults were Yvonne Battle-Felton, Louise Doughty, and Peter Kalu. This team, which announced the longlist on March 9, revealed the shortlist on April 13 before unveiling the winner yesterday. The winner in the adult category is The First Woman (Oneworld Publications) by Ugandan novelist and short story writer Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi. Her first novel, Kintu (Oneworld, 2018), won the Kwani? Manuscript Prize in 2013 and was longlisted for the Etisalat Prize in 2014. She was awarded the Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2014 for Let’s Tell This Story Properly, which featured in her first collection, Manchester Happened (Oneworld, 2019). She was awarded the Windham-Campbell Prize for Fiction 2018.
Children’s & YA literature
This year, the prize organisers included Children’s & YA literature which was judged by Verna Allette Wilkins, Kiran Millwood Hargrave, and Candy Gourlay. They announced the winner to be Patrice Lawrence for Eight Pieces of Silva (Hodder Children’s Books). Patrice Lawrence has been writing for as long as she has been reading. Her debut novel, Orangeboy, won the Waterstone’s Book Prize for Older Readers and the YA Book Prize, and her second novel, Indigo Donut, won the Crime Fest Best Crime Fiction for Young Adults and was shortlisted for the YA Book Prize.