African literature awarded everywhere

At Pontas, we are thrilled with the longlist for the Etisalat Prize for Literature 2015. Out of nine authors, three are represented by Pontas Literary & Film Agency: ZP Dala (What About Meera), Chigozie Obioma (The Fishermen) and Fiston Mwanza Mujila (Tram83).

The Etisalat Prize for Literature, launched in June 2013, is the first pan-African prize that is open solely to debut fiction writers of African citizenship and has now established itself as the most prestigious literary prize for African fiction. It’s important to note that Tram83 is written in French, and that this is the first time that The Etisalat Pirze ever included a non-Anglophone book on their list.

African literature has always been very important for Pontas, and the origins of this Agency. We are proud that these three debut authors represent three different African countries: South Africa with ZP Dala, Nigeria with Chigozie Obioma and the Democratic Republic of Congo with Fiston Mwanza Mujila.

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zp dalaThe longlist was selected by Professor Ato Quayson (chair of judges), Professor of English and inaugural Director of the Centre for Diaspora Studies at the University of Toronto (Chair of Judges); Molara Wood, writer, journalist, critic and editor; and Zukiswa Wanner, author of Men of the South and London Cape Town Joburg.

«The longlisted books push the boundaries in their themes and inventive use of language. This is a rich array of bold new writing on what it means to be human in the world today, by irresistible African voices.» Molara Wood

The shortlist will be announced in December 2015, and the shortlisted writers will go on a multi-city sponsored tour apart from having 1,000 copies of their books purchased by Etisalat for distribution to schools, libraries and book clubs across the Continent.

We’re also excited that The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma is also on the Shortlist for the Guardian First Book Award. The winner of this prestigious prize which celebrates first-time writers across all genres who have had their first book published in English the last year will be announced at an awards ceremony in London on Wednesday 25 November 2015.

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