Chigozie Obioma


The selection of joint winners breaks the 30 year tradition of the judging body for the prize. Reporting on the split of the prize money, The Guardian states thatThe Booker prize has been split twice before: in 1974, by Nadine Gordimer and Stanley Middleton, and in 1992, by Michael Ondaatje and Barry Unsworth. After 1992, the rules were changed to insist that the prize “may not be divided or withheld”.

Other shortlisted candidates include Lucy EllmannChigozie Obioma, Sir Salman Rushdie and Elif Shafak.

The Booker Prize for Fiction is a literary prize awarded each year for the best original novel written in English and published in the United Kingdom. The Booker Prize is a leading literary award in the English speaking world that rewards the finest in fiction, highlighting great books to readers and transforming authors’ careers.

Oyinkan Braithwaite, author of ‘My Sister, The Serial Killer’ and Chigozie Obioma, author of ‘An Orchestra of Minorities’ were the only two Africans longlisted for this award, with Oyinkan making it to the final nomination.

The Booker Prize has, so far, been won by three Africans: Nadine GordimerBen Okri, and J. M. Coetzee.

Bernadine Evaristo, who is the first black woman to win the prize since its inception, will also be at the Ake Festival later this month, in Lagos Nigeria.




Credit: Bella Naija

Described as “skilful, sharp and engaging a debut as any first novelist can produce,” Oyinkan’s novel is the only debut on the 13-man longlist also featuring Chigozie Obioma‘s An Orchestra of Minorities.

Chigozie had been shortlisted in 2015 for his debut The Fishermen, and his second novel is loosely based on the Odyssey.

Others on the shortlist are:

  • Margaret Atwood from Canada for her highly anticipated novel, The Testaments.
  • Kevin Barry from Ireland for his crime fiction, Night Boat to Tangier.
  • Lucy Ellmann from the USA/UK for her 1000-word single sentence novel, Ducks, Newburyport.
  • Bernardine Evaristo from the UK for her novel about the lives of black women, Girl, Woman, Other.
  • John Lanchester from the UK for his dystopian novel, The Wall.
  • Deborah Levy from the UK for her novel which slips between time zones, The Man Who Saw Everything.
  • Valeria Luiselli from Mexico/Italy for her first novel published in the English Language, Lost Children Archive.
  • Max Porter from the UK for his novel about a missing boy, Lanny.
  • Salman Rushdie from the India for his novel based on Don Quixote, Quichotte.
  • Elif Shafak from the Turkey for her novel which details the memories of a dead Istanbul sex worker, 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World.
  • and Jeanette Winterson from the UK for her novel based on Frankenstein, Frankissstein.

The Booker Prize (formerly the Man Booker Prize) is a £50,000 prize awarded to the best novel written in the English Language. Until 2014, it was awarded to only novels written by writers from the Commonwealth, Irish, South African and Zimbabwe.

Nigerian magical realism writer Ben Okriwon the prize in 1991 for his novel The Famished Road.

You can read excerpts of Oyinkan Braithwaite’s My Sister, the Serial Killerwhose copies we gave away, on BellaNaija hereherehere and here.



Credit: Bella Naija