Three people have been shortlisted for the 2015 Etisalat Prize for Literature.
Fiston Mwanza Mujila, from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and South Africans Penny Busetto and Rehana Rossouw were selected out of nine competitors to vie for the most prestigious literary prize for African fiction that is open solely to debut fiction writers from African countries.
Mujila is the author of Tram 83, while Busetto and Rossouw are the authors of The Story of Anna P, as told by Herself and What will People Say?, respectively.
The shortlisted writers will be rewarded with a sponsored multi-city book tour and will also have 1,000 copies of their books purchased by Etisalat for distribution to schools, libraries and book clubs across the Continent.
The trio was selected by a three-member judging panel including Professor Ato Quayson, 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 and Johannesburg.
The winner of the third Etisalat Prize for Literature will be announced in March and will receive £15,000, an engraved Montblanc Meisterstück pen. The Prize also includes an Etisalat sponsored fellowship at the University of East Anglia, mentored by Professor Giles Foden, author of The Last King of Scotland.
“The variety of styles and subject matter of the books on this year’s Etisalat Prize for Literature shortlist reveal the vitality of contemporary African literature. They contribute to our understanding of what it is to love, to laugh, to improvise, sometimes to despair, to know and yet be fooled by the assurance of such knowledge, to work for our ablution in the fate of another’s suffering, and ultimately to embrace life in all its bewildering complexities.” Prof Quayson said.