Louise Hare, Monique Roffey on UK’s Ondaatje Prize 2021 longlist

Louise Hare and Monique Roffey are on the longlist for the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize 2021 announced on April 15, 2021.

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 is sponsored by Sir Christopher Ondaatje and has been running for the last fifteen years. Previous winners have been Aida Edemariam (2019), Pascale Petit (2018), Francis Spufford (2017), Peter Pomerantsev (2016), and Justin Marozzi (2015). Africans who have been in the running, but never won the award, include Aminatta Forna, Emmanuel Iduma, and Jamal Mahjoub as well as Jumoke Verissimo.

This year’s judges are Lola, Baroness Young of Hornsey (Chair), Helen Mort and Adam Rutherford. They announced the longlist and writers of African descent in the list are;

  • Louise Hare, This Lovely City (HQ)
  • Monique Roffey, The Mermaid of Black Conch (Peepal Tree Press)

Author comments

Louise Hare
Louise Hare

So proud to be on this wonderful longlist. Maybe it’s fitting that I’m currently standing in a long COVID surge testing queue outside Wandsworth Town Hall, setting for one of my favourite scenes in #ThisLovelyCity.

Monique Roffey Photo/Marcus Bastel
Monique Roffey Photo/Marcus Bastel

Onjaatje is one of my favourite writers so I am blimmin thrilled you see the mermaid on this list. @peepaltreepress #placewriting #spiritofplace #Caribbean #literature

The shortlist will be announced on Tuesday 27 April and the winner will be revealed on Tuesday 11 May.

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