THE NOMA AWARD FOR
31 October 2009
NIGERIAN WRITER OF GENIUS DISPLAYING COMPLETE MASTERY OF HER CRAFT WINS 2009
NOMA AWARD FOR HER COLLECTION OF SHORT STORIES
The Noma Award for Publishing in Africa announces that Sefi Atta has won
the Noma Award for Publishing in Africa 2009 for her collection of short stories
Lawless and Other Stories. The book
was published in 2008 by Farafina, an imprint of Kachifo Ltd, Lagos, Nigeria.
The Jury’s citation reads:
“This collection of short stories and a novella represent the work of a first class writer. The gripping stories of the Nigerian quotidian are of consistently high quality and uniformly outstanding. The writer has an immense gift of language and mastery of narrative in which she redefines the Nigerian social imaginary. She tells her stories in different voices and from the perspective of a whole range of memorable characters, balancing content and form. She does not romanticise or demonise the world of her characters: her genius is to deprive the stories of their sensationalism, allowing her to display complete mastery of her craft. One of the most original, imaginative and gifted fiction writers in Africa, and arguably the best of her generation.”
Sefi Atta was educated in Nigeria, the UK and US, and is a former chartered accountant and a graduate of the Creative Writing Program at Antioch University, Los Angeles. Her short stories have been published in literary journals, her radio plays have been broadcast by the British Broadcasting Corporation, and she has received many awards for her writing. She was the winner of the PEN International 2004/5 David T.K. Wong Prize, and won the first Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa in 2006 for her debut novel Everything Good Will Come. More information is at http://www.sefiatta.com
The US$10,000 Noma Award, under the auspices of UNESCO, will be presented to Sefi Atta at a special ceremony in Africa, details of which will be announced later.
43 publishers from 12 African countries submitted titles for the 2009 competition. The Jury singled out a further three titles for Honourable Mention. The list is attached.
The Noma Award Jury is chaired by Walter Bgoya from Tanzania, one of Africa’s most distinguished publishers, with wide knowledge of both African and international publishing. The other members of the Jury in 2009 were: Professor Simon Gikandi, Robert Schirmer Professor of English at Princeton University; Professor Peter Katjavivi, Chairman of the National Planning Commission in the Government of Namibia, and former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Namibia; and Mary Jay, Secretary to the Managing Committee (the Jury). The Award is sponsored by Kodansha Ltd, Japan.
Dancing with Life:
Tales from the Township by Christopher Mlalazi
Leila ou la femme de
l’aube by Sonia Chamkhi
Love in the Time of
Treason by Zubeida Jaffer
further information about the Award, please contact:
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