Tuesday 25 February 2014

Bulawayo's 'We Need New Names' wins inaugural Etisalat Prize for Literature

NoViolet Bulawayo’s winning spree with her debut novel ‘We Need New Names’ has continued, following the announcement last Sunday 23rd February that she was selected as the winner of the inaugural Etisalat Prize for Literature. The Prize is the only pan-African prize celebrating first time writers of published fiction books.

From an original longlist of nine novels, the judges whittled the entries down to a shortlist of three, which included NoViolet Bulawayo, Karen Jennings and Yewande Omotoso, who took part in the 2012 Caine Prize workshop in South Africa. 

NoViolet Bulawayo, alongside Karen Jennings and Yewande Omotoso, receiving the Etisalat Prize for Literature of £15,000. Credit: Etisalat Nigeria

'We Need New Names' was victorious, chosen by a panel of three literary experts, Pumla Gquola, Sarah Ladipo and Billy Kahora, who was shortlisted for the Caine Prize in 2012. 

NoViolet in Lagos with her Etisalat award.
Credit: Etisalat Nigeria

In addition to winning £15,000, a Samsung Galaxy Note and a Montblanc Meisterstuck, NoViolet will take part in a sponsored book tour to three African cities and a Etisalat Fellowship at the University of East Anglia, mentored by Professor Giles Foden.

NoViolet's unique writing style reached international audiences when she won the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2011 with the short story 'Hitting Budapest.' 'We Need New Names' was subsequently shortlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize, making her the first black African woman and the first Zimbabwean to be shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. 

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