Africa Region finalists for the 2011 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize

Yes, as the headline says, the Africa Region finalists for the 2011 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize were announced recently, and here in Accra, too!  Not too surprisingly, I guess, as the Chair of the Africa Regional jury this year was Ajoa Yeboah-Afari, writer, journalist and most recently editor of The Ghanaian Times newspaper.

The Africa Region winners are:

  • Best Book: The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna (Sierra Leone)
  • Best First Book: Happiness is a four-letter word by Cynthia Jele (South Africa)

There was pretty good coverage online here in Ghana, with stories on the Ghana Government website and also on Ghanaweb .  OK, some of the headlines were a little unrealistic, or should I say overoptimistic, but still it is something.

My colleague bloggers and book lovers, ImageNations and Geosi Reads were quick to blog about the lists.  More power to them.  The more people who know about these achievements, the better.

And of course the more likely the books will become available to we omnivorous readers of contemporary African literature.  I am not surprised at the choice of the Aminatta Forna book; it has had pretty good reviews.  I guess I will just have to wait until the Jele book hits the international distribution circuit!

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6 thoughts on “Africa Region finalists for the 2011 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize

    • I haven’t seen either of them, though I do have one of Forna’s earlier books, The devil that danced on the water, on my TBR shelf.

  1. Pingback: Africa: Africa Region Finalists for the 2011 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize · Global Voices

  2. Pingback: Africa: Africa Region Finalists for the 2011 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize | Daringsearch

  3. Here in the UK, we often see booklists being published which omit authors from Africa, Asia or Latin America – in my view a serious error as there is much excellent creativity which is being ignored as a result in favour of the usual suspects such as Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Thackeray et al. To redress the balance somewhat I’ve created this – http://altbooklist.wordpress.com/2011/03/28/hello-world/ – The Alternative Booklist Challenge. I’d welcome yours and your readers’ suggestions as to authors and their books which could feature on it.

    Thank you.

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