With ‘Child of the Corn’, Rose Okeke wins 2022 James Currey Prize for African Literature

THE £1000 James Currey Prize for African Literature has been won by the Nigerian writer, Rose Okeke with her manuscript, ‘Child of the Corn’.

Okeke was unveiled as the winner at a ceremony on Saturday, Sept 3, hosted by OneWorld Publications publisher, Juliet Mabey, during the closing session of the 3-day James Currey Literary Festival (Sept 1-3) held at the University of Oxford, UK.

She beat other shortlisted writers from three African countries to the prize: Paperless by Buntu Siwisa (South Africa), Madness by Esomnofu Ebelenna Tobenna (Nigeria), Lord Kitchener by Abenea Ndago (Kenya), and ), Mandiga’s Well by  Mohammed Hammie (Tanzania).

The longlist for the awards was announced on June 1 before the shortlist was revealed on July 1st. Jury chair Ever Obi in an announcement said: “The major work is done.”

The jury for 2022 chaired by Ever Obi, Indian author and scholar, Dr. Suraj Yengde, Teri Sillo (United Kingdom), Thomas Dukelabik Amanquandor (Ghana), Peace Anyiam-Osigwe (Nigeria), Olukorede S Yishau (Nigeria), and Charmaine R Mujeri (Zimbabwe).

The Prize is an annual award for the best-unpublished work of fiction written in English by any writer, set in Africa or on Africans in Africa or in the Diaspora. It was established in 2020 by Nigerian writer, filmmaker and publisher Onyeka Nwelue, in honour of James Currey, a publisher of academic books on Africa. The first winner of the prize was Ani Kayode Somtochukwu.

The James Currey Literature Festival is supported by British Council, British Airways, Daniel Ford International, Bodleian Libraries, African Studies Centre, University of Oxford, Pitanga, Heat African, OneWorld Publications, Abibiman Publishing, Hattus Books, FTWeekend Oxford Literary Festival, La Cave Musik, Punch, World Arts Agency, Y!Naija, Open Country Magazine,  Sally Dunsmore, BellaNaija, NaijaTimes, ThisIsLagos and James Murua. 

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