The Women’s Award for Fiction, one of the UK’s most prestigious literary prizes, has nominated two Nigerian authors alongside 14 others in its 16-book longlist.
The Women’s Award for Fiction is an annual literary prize awarded to a female author of any nationality for the best English novel published in the UK during the preceding year.
Akwaeke Emezi was nominated for ‘Freshwater’, his debut novel on a girl born with Igbo spirits as a challenge from a deity to her catholic father while Oyinkan Braithwaite’s funny ‘My Sister the Serial Killer’ earned her the recognition.
Kate Williams, chair of the judges, commented on the criterion for selection in an interview with Guardian.
“We’re very careful not to google the authors’ names while judging. But the book (Freshwater) found great favour among us. They are incredibly talented authors and we’re keen to celebrate them,” Williams said.
“Fiction, right from the beginning of the novel in the 18th century, has been there to explore identity. Novels are deep explorations of personality, identity and what makes a person.
“That is what Freshwater and all the books on our longlist are doing.”
The women’s prize, currently funded by a group of brands and substantial individual donations, was first established in 1992, a year after no female author was enlisted for the Booker Prize.
While the shortlist for the 2019 edition of the literary award would be announced on April 29, the ultimate winner would be revealed come June 5.