Thursday, September 09, 2010

Penguin Prize for African Writing

The winners of the Penguin Prize for African Writing was announced on September 4, 2010. There were two categories for the awards: fiction and non fiction.

The Fiction prize was won by Ellen Banda-Aaku with Patchwork. Ellen was born in Zambia but now lives in London.

About Patchwork: Destined from birth to inhabit very different worlds--that of her father, the wealthy Joseph Sakavungo, and that of her mother, his mistress--this emotive tale takes us to the heart of a young girl's attempts to come to terms with her own identity and fashion for herself from the patchwork of the life she was born into.

The Non-Fiction prize was won by Pius Adesanmi with You're Not a Country, Africa! Pius was born in Nigeria but now lives in Ottawa, Canada.

About You're Not a Country, Africa!: In this groundbreaking collection of essays Pius Adesanmi tries to unravel what it is that Africa means to him as an African, and by extension to all those who inhabit this continent of extremes. This is a question that exercised some of the continent's finest minds in the twentieth century, but which pan-Africanism, Negritune, nationalism, decolonisation and all the other projects through which Africans sought to restore their humanity ultimately failed to answer.

Read the rest here.


  1. And for those who interested in such things, Ellen also lived for several years in Accra, Ghana. She has won other prizes for her writing, including one from Macmillan.

  2. Thanks Nina... I never knew that even though I live in Accra Ghana. Thanks again.

  3. Those books look excellent, thanks for posting about them!

  4. thanks Amy. Myself, I would look out for them

  5. I am happy about the fresh additions of literary awards in Africa in recent times. Of course, with Penquin and Burt Awards, African writers would be motivated to write.

  6. I hope it does something to writers. But do we really need Awards to write? Do we need recognition to act? Why is the motive of our writing? To effect change? To inform? To stir a revolution? To right a wrong? To create an impression? In all these, do we need to be encouraged first? What about writing what the West wants?

  7. @ Fredua: I support all that you are saying 100 percent. But the thing is that, majority of Ghanaians don't write as for example, our Nigerian counterparts do. So at least, we have to keep some hope that these awards with their splashing money would ignite some fire!


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