Marguerite Poland’s A SIN OF OMISSION longlisted for the Ondaatje Prize

Awarded by the UK’s Royal Society of Literature to an outstanding work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry that best evokes the spirit of a place, the Ondaatje Prize is yet to be won by a South African.

Poland’s deeply poignant novel is set in the Eastern Cape of the late 1800s and tells the story of a black South African Anglican deacon, Stephen (Malusi) Mzamane, trained in England but now marooned in a rundown mission in Fort Beaufort, where he battles the prejudices of colonial society.

Selected by judges Samira Ahmed (Chair), Roger Robinson and Joelle Taylor, Poland shares the list with eight more writers. The shortlist will be announced on 24 April, with the winner announced on 10 May.

Winner of the 2021 SUNDAY TIMES Prize, A SIN OF OMISSION had also been shortlisted for the 2020 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction. The novel is published in South Africa by Penguin Random House. The Lennon-Ritchie Agency sold UK rights to EnvelopeBooks. For rights enquiries, contact the agency.

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