Alain Mabanckou

Four Africans make Man Booker International Prize finalist list

The Man Booker International Prize highlights one writer’s overall contribution to fiction on the world stage. It seeks out literary excellence the judges consider a writer’s body of work rather than a single novel. Both prizes strive to recognise and reward the finest modern literature. The award goes with a handy £60,000.

The judges for the Man Booker International Prize 2015, now in its sixth year, have unveiled this year’s ten finalists at a press conference at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. The judges are led by the chair Prof Marina Warner a writer and academic and include Nadeem Aslam a novelist, Elleke Boehmer a novelist, critic, and Professor, Edwin Frank the editorial director of the New York Review Classics series and Wen-chin Ouyang Professor of Arabic and Comparative Literature at SOAS, University of London.

Mia Couto
Mia Couto

Mozambican author Mia Couto, Alain Mabanckou from the Republic of Congo, Libya Ibrahim al-Koni and South African Marlene van Niekerk are in the running for the award. The full list includes;

  • César Aira (Argentina)
  • Hoda Barakat (Lebanon)
  • Maryse Condé (Guadeloupe)
  • Mia Couto (Mozambique)
  • Amitav Ghosh (India)
  • Fanny Howe (United States of America)
  • Ibrahim al-Koni (Libya)
  • László Krasznahorkai (Hungary)
  • Alain Mabanckou (Republic of Congo)
  • Marlene van Niekerk (South Africa)

Two of the four African writers on the list have already been mentioned in this blog. Mozambican author Mia Couto won the PEN translation awards last year while Alain Mabanckou was a judge for the just-ended Etisalat Prize for African Literature.

Marlene van Niekerk
Marlene van Niekerk

You know that we are pinning for one of them to go home with the big prize. We are selfish like that.

Ibrahim al-Koni
Ibrahim al-Koni

Update: An earlier version of this blog was made with the title “Three Africans Make Man Booker International Prize finalist list.” I had missed out on the fact that there was a Libyan author on the list in my rush to go to the web first. The oversight was pointed out to me by Twitter account books about Africa. Thanks for the correction sir/madam.


3 responses to “Four Africans make Man Booker International Prize finalist list”

  1. su'eddie avatar

    Wow! And we keep making the world proud… A lot of beautiful things happening on the African literary scene. Thanks for constantly updating us James.. Means much. Cheers!

    1. murua avatar

      We are moving fast as a continent. This I suspect is only the beginning.

  2. […] Couto who writes in Portuguese and has been in the running for Man Booker International Prize as well as winning the PEN translation award in the past is one of Mozambique’s leading writers. […]

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