By James Murua
THE finalists for the inaugural edition of the Museum of African Diaspora African Literary Awards were revealed on August 18, 2022.
The Museum of the African Diaspora is a contemporary art museum in San Francisco, California. one of only a few museums of its kind in the USA, they hold exhibitions and present artists exclusively of the African diaspora.
The museum has unveiled its new African Literary Awards “in recognition of an author who has produced a work of literary excellence and taken a leadership role in promoting writing and literacy in their local community.”s. It is judged by a panel of African Book Club Co-Founder, Faith Adiele; Director of Public Programs, Elizabeth Gessel; and Senior Public Programs Manager, Nia McAllister. This panel announced that the following works are in the running for the award;
- Sulaiman Addonia, Silence Is My Mother Tongue: A Novel (Graywolf Press 2020)
- Wayétu Moore, The Dragons, The Giant, The Women: A Memoir (Graywolf Press 2021)
- Sisonke Msimang, Always Another Country: A Memoir of Exile and Home (World Editions 2018)
- Rémy Ngamije, The Eternal Audience of One: A Novel (Simon & Schuster 2021)
- Mũkoma Wa Ngũgĩ, Unbury Our Dead With Song (Cassava Republic Press 2021)
Looking at the five books you find three novels and two memoirs which is a bit interesting. In other award ceremonies, those who organise will usually have books in separate categories so that it makes its fairer for those in the running. We look forward to the citations on the panel uses to show how they decided that a memoir was written better than a novel or vice versa.
The final winner will be announced on International Literacy Day, September 8, 2022. Join us on September 25th for a virtual awards ceremony to celebrate the selected author. There is no information available on the prize money for the winners and/or finalists when this report was written.