Three on the 2011 Orange Prize Longlist

The Orange Prize long list has just been published. The list include highly successful books such as Emma Donoghue's Room, which was shortlisted for the Booker Awards and Aminatta Forna's The Memory of Love which recently won the Commonwealth Writers Prize Best Book Award for Africa RegionLeila Aboulela also won the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2000 with The Museum.Out of the twenty (20) long-listed books, three of them are by Africans:
  • The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna (Sierra Leone)
  • The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives by Lola Shoneyin (Nigeria)
  • Lyrics Alley by Leila Aboulela (Sudan)
The Orange prize was created to celebrate "excellence, originality and accessibility in women's writing throughout the world". Read more about the long-listed authors here. Also read my interview with Lola Shoneyin here


  1. Congrats to all of them, especially to Lola!

  2. It's always great to be on a such lists.

  3. Good to see three Africans on the list. I hope they survive the shortlisted and perhaps one emerging the winner. However, I hear a lot about Donoghues Room and I have had the opportunity to read the first chapter. That book is terrific, the simplicity of the writing and the brilliance of the prose pulls me so hard to such for that book. But hey!... Africa all the way.

  4. @Geosi, Donoghue's Room has received mixed reviews. Those who have praised it have gone on to comment on the voice of the main character, the boy. Reviewers have mentioned that a lot of intelligence and 'knowing' were assigned to him.

    Since I haven't read any of the books I cannot predict but I hope OUR three survives the cut. If an African novel would win, it might be Aminatta's. But, hey! awards are full of surprises and I want to be surprised. Big Time!

  5. Fingers and toes crossed for our own ladies!

  6. @MW... that's all we can do. And I hope they come out big.

  7. I have managed to read two of the long list so far Room and Lyrics Alley. Whilst I enjoyed both, Lyrics Alley is by far the better read in my opinion and I'd thoroughly recommend it to everyone. I'd be absolutely astounded if it did not make the shortlist. I reviewed each for Goodreads if anyone wants to click through please beware of the spoiler alert on my review of Aboulela's book and Donoghue's book.
    I'd be interested in your opinion of the longlist , the 3 African represnetatives and in particular The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives by Lola Shoneyin.

  8. hi Sheila thanks for your comment. I haven't as yet read the three African novels on the list so i can't as yet predict their inclusion in the shortlist. However, we would be hoping to see one or two. I would visit your link to read your review.


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