Nicole Dennis-Benn’s novel Patsy is on the US’ Aspen Words Literary Prize 2020 shortlist announced on February 19, 2020.
The Aspen Words Literary Prize is a $35,000 annual award for an influential work of fiction that illuminates a vital contemporary issue and demonstrates the transformative power of literature on thought and culture. Previous winners have been Mohsin Hamid for Exit West in 2018 and Tayari Jones for An American Marriage in 2019.
The longlist for this year’s award was announced on November 14, 2019. Those who made the list for those of us who look at the world through African lenses were Moroccan Laila Lalami’s The Other Americans and diaspora Africans Colson Whitehead and Nicole Dennis-Benn.
The shortlist announced yesterday was selected by a five-member jury that includes acclaimed writer and professor Alexander Chee, founding director of the Aspen Institute Dialogue on Public Libraries Amy Garmer, literary activist and poet Saeed Jones, Helen Obermeyer, whose career spans work in the financial services industry to television show production, and best-selling memoirist Esmeralda Santiago.
On the shortlist for this award is Kingston, Jamaica-born and bred Nicole Dennis-Benn who is also the author of Here Comes the Sun, a New York Times Notable Book and winner of the Lambda Literary Award. The full list of those still in the running are;
- Patsy, by Nicole Dennis-Benn
- Lost Children Archive, by Valeria Luiselli
- Lot, by Bryan Washington
- Opioid, Indiana, by Brian Allen Carr
- The Beekeeper of Aleppo, by Christy Lefteri
The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony in New York City, USA on April 16, 2020.