Sarah Ladipo Manyika

Sarah Ladipo Manyika’s novel Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun is on the California Book Award 2018 shortlist. The book was published by Cassava Republic Press.

The California Book Awards are a prize showing the wealth and diversity of literature written in the US state. Monetary prizes for the prize, which began in 1931, are given in the categories of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, juvenile literature, young adult literature, first work of fiction, Californiana and notable contribution to publishing. Previous winners of the prize includes C.S. Forester, Khaled Hosseini and a cast of other brilliant California based writers.

The short list for this year’s edition of the award has been announced and there is a familiar name to followers of African literature; Sarah Ladipo Manyika. Manyika is the author of two novels; Interdependence and Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun which came out in April 1, 2016. It is therefore quite ironic that today April 1, 2018 is when news emerges that the book is in the running for this prize.

For those who have not read Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun its blurb states;

Morayo Da Silva, a cosmopolitan Nigerian woman, lives in hip San Francisco. On the cusp of seventy-five, she is in good health and makes the most of it, enjoying road trips in her vintage Porsche, chatting to strangers, and recollecting characters from her favourite novels. Then she has a fall and her independence crumbles. Without the support of family, she relies on friends and chance encounters. As Morayo recounts her story, moving seamlessly between past and present, we meet Dawud, a charming Palestinian shopkeeper, Sage, a feisty, homeless Grateful Dead devotee, and Antonio, the poet whom Morayo desired more than her ambassador husband. A subtle story about ageing, friendship and loss, this is also a nuanced study of the erotic yearnings of an older woman.

This is not the first nod that this book has gotten as it was also in the running for the Goldsmiths Prize in 2016.

The winners will be announced by June 1 followed by an awards ceremony on Monday, June 11, 2018.

Good luck Sarah.