Nigeria Prize for Literature Shortlist Released

An initial shortlist of six out of the 126 books submitted for the 2011 edition of The Nigeria Prize for Literature has been announced.

According to the release, the shortlist – as approved by the Advisory Board of the prize – contains the names and works of prolific writers such as Uche Peter Umez (The Runaway Hero); Philip Begh0 (Aunty Felicia goes to School); Ayodele Olofintuade (Eno’s story); Chinyere Obi-Obasi (The Great Fall); Mai Nasara (The Missing Clock); and Thelma Nwokeji – a new writer who made the list with a debut novel, Red Nest.

Uche Peter Umez won the 2006 Commonwealth Short Story Prize and Philip Begho is an author of over 70 books, and a two-time contender for The Nigeria Prize for Literature in 2004 and 2010. Ayodele Olofintuade’s Eno’s story (a story about a tortured Ibibio child), received an interesting REVIEW from literary critic, Ikhide Ikheloa. Apart from these three, the others are relatively familiar authors

According to Professor Ayo Banjo, a second shortlist of three books will be announced in September and a winner, if any, in October.

The Nigeria Prize for Literature rotates yearly amongst four literary genres: prose fiction, poetry, drama and children’s literature.

The 2011 prize goes to children’s literature. This year’s prize has a cash value of USD $100, 000 (One hundred thousand United States Dollars).

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