Zadie Smith, Jason Allen-Paisant on The Writers’ Prize 2024 shortlist

Zadie Smith, Jason Allen-Paisant on The Writers’ Prize 2024 shortlist

Zadie Smith and Jason Allen-Paisant are on the shortlist for The Writers’ Prize 2024 announced on Tuesday, January 9, 2024.

The Writer’s Prize was known as the Rathbones Folio Prize, a literary award celebrating writing in fiction, poetry, and nonfiction based in the UK from 2014–2015. It has been won by among others George Saunders, Akhil Sharma, Hisham Matar, Richard Lloyd Parry, Raymond Antrobus, and Valeria Luiselli. Margo Jefferson and Victoria Adukwei Bulley won the award in 2024. In November last year, Rathbones Investment Management the prize sponsors announced that they would be stepping down and the award was rebranded to the Writers’ Prize as it sought new sponsorship.

For 2024, there is no official jury, and the shortlists were chosen by the members of the Folio Academy, made up of more than 350 acclaimed writers. The following writers of African descent made the cut in the following categories;


  • The Fraud, Zadie Smith

In her first historical novel, Zadie Smith transports the reader to a Victorian England transfixed by the real-life trial of the Tichborne Claimant. A cockney butcher, recently returned from Australia, lays claim to the Tichborne baronetcy, with his former slave Andrew Bogle as star witness.


  • Self-Portrait as Othello, Jason Allen-Paisant

Poetic memoir and ekphrastic experiment, Self-Portrait as Othello imagines Othello in the urban landscapes of modern London, Paris and Venice and invents the kinds of narrative he might tell about his intersecting identities.

The category winners and the overall Book of the Year will be announced on March 13, 2024.

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