Tola Rotimi Abraham

Tola Rotimi Abraham’s Black Sunday is a finalist at the Kirkus Prize 2020 announced on September 9, 2020.

Kirkus Reviews is a US book review magazine, founded in 1933 by Virginia Kirkus, that publishes previews of books prior to their publication. The Kirkus Prize was created to celebrate the years of criticism that Kirkus Reviews had contributed to both the publishing industry and readers at large. It is one of the richest literary awards in the world, with $50,000 bestowed annually to authors of fiction, nonfiction, and young readers’ literature.

Lesley Nneka Arimah won the fiction category for her short story collection What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky in 2017. Those who have been shortlisted have been Dinaw Mengestu (2014), Tomi Adeyemi (2018), and Laila Lalami (2019). 2019 was a truly Black year at Kirkus as Colson Whitehead won in the fiction category, Saeed Jones took the honours in the nonfiction category and Jerry Craft was recognised in the Young Adult Category.

The 2020 edition of the prize is upon us and the finalists in the categories of fiction, nonfiction, and young readers were announced. The only writer of interest to the follower of African and Black literature was Lagos-born Tola Rotimi Abraham’s Black Sunday which is a fiction finalist. The judges in that category are Chang-rae Lee, author; Veronica Santiago Liu, Bookseller; and Amy Reiter, Critic.

Tola Rotimi Abraham, a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, has taught writing at the University of Iowa. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Catapult, The Des Moines Register, The Nigerian Literary Magazine, and other venues. Black Sunday is her first novel.

The winners of the prizes will be announced later in the year.

Kirkus Prize, Kirkus Prize 2020, Tola Rotimi Abraham, Black Sunday