THE SON OF THE HOUSE wins the Nigeria Prize for Literature

Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia’s book, THE SON OF THE HOUSE, has won one of the world’s richest literary prizes, the Nigeria Prize for Literature. The prize comes with an award of $100 000 USD, sponsored by Nigeria LNG Limited.

THE SON OF THE HOUSE has been the recipient of numerous awards already. It has been shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize this year and won the SprinNG Women Author Prize 2020. It also received the Best International Fiction Book Award at the Sharjah International Book Fair 2019.

The awards ceremony was held at the Eko Hotel and Suites in Victoria Island, Lagos on October 30th. Onyemelukwe-Onuobia was there to accept the award and shared her delight on Instagram saying, “My heart is full”.

The jury of judges was chaired by Professor Olutoyin Jegede of the English department at the University of Ibadan. Also on the panel was Professor Tanimu Abubakar from Ahmadu Bello University and Dr Solomon Azumurana from the University of Lagos.

THE SON OF THE HOUSE is Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia’s debut novel. It was published in South Africa by Penguin Random House in 2019 and in North America by Dundurn Press in 2021. It has also been, or will soon be, published in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, Armenia and across the world in Arabic.

The story revolves around an encounter under duress between Nwabulu and Julie, two women from vastly different backgrounds. They’re united by the same societal pressure: to marry and reproduce. Set in Nigeria, the novel is alive with local culture and family drama. It uplifts the resilience of women navigating patriarchal society.

Strong female characters were a recurring theme on the Nigeria Prize for Literature’s shortlist. The other two finalists were THE GIRL WITH THE LOUDING VOICE by Abi Daré (published by Dutton Books) and COLOURS OF HATRED by Obinna Udenwe (also published by Parresia Publishers). Onyemelukwe-Onuobia is a lawyer, academic and writer of Nigerian origin who is based in both Nigeria and Canada. She graduated with a doctorate in law from Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia and works primarily in the areas of health, gender, and violence against women and children.

THE SON OF THE HOUSE is Shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize

Congratulations to Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia! Her book, THE SON OF THE HOUSE, has been shortlisted for the prestigious Scotiabank Giller Prize. The shortlist, comprising just five books, was announced on Tuesday, 5 October.

Of THE SON OF THE HOUSE, the jury said: “It is a delightful gift to find a book you feel fortunate to have read, akin to discovering a treasure. That is the case with The Son of the House. The novel explores issues of patriarchy and classism, themes of friendship and loss through the lenses of two very different yet unexpectedly connected women in Nigeria. Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia writes a modern novel with fairytale elements and prose that punches you in the gut, leaving you wonderfully stunned by the time the book is finished.”

THE SON OF THE HOUSE is Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia’s debut novel, published in South Africa by Penguin Random House in 2019 and in North America by Dundurn Press in 2021. It has also been published in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, Armenia and the United Arab Emirates. It shares the Scotiabank Giller Prize shortlist with Omar El Akkad’s WHAT STRANGE PARADISE (published by McClelland & Stewart, an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada), Angélique Lalonde’s story collection GLORIOUS FRAZZLED BEINGS (published by House of Anansi), Jordan Tannahill’s THE LISTENERS (published by HarperCollins Canada) and Miriam Toews’ FIGHT NIGHT (published by Knopf Canada, an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada).

The plot revolves around an encounter under duress between Nwabulu and Julie, two women from vastly different backgrounds. They’re united by the same societal pressure: to marry and reproduce. Set in Nigeria, the novel is alive with local culture and family drama. It uplifts the resilience of women navigating patriarchal society.

Onyemelukwe-Onuobia is a lawyer, academic and writer of Nigerian origin who is based in both Nigeria and Canada. She graduated with a doctorate in law from Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia and works primarily in the areas of health, gender, and violence against women and children. 

THE SON OF THE HOUSE has been met with critical acclaim. It won the SprinNG Women Author Prize 2020. It also received the Best International Fiction Book Award at the Sharjah International Book Fair 2019. 

The Scotiabank Giller Prize rewards outstanding Canadian fiction. It was established by businessman Jack Rabinovitch in honour of his late wife, author Doris Giller, in 1994. Scotiabank came on board in 2005, quadrupling the financial value of the award. The 2021 winner will receive $100 000 and each finalist $10 000. 

The 2021 Scotiabank Giller Prize jury is chaired by Canadian author Zalika Reid-Benta. She is assisted by fellow writers Megan Gail Coles, Joshua Whitehead, Tash Aw and Joshua Ferris. Of the 132 works submitted for the prize, twelve were longlisted and five shortlisted. 

The winner of the Scotiabank Giller Prize will be announced on 8 November at a ceremony in Toronto hosted by Paul Sun-Hyung Lee and Rupi Kaur.

A SIN OF OMISSION by Marguerite Poland wins the Sunday Times CNA Fiction Prize

Congratulations to Marguerite Poland! Her novel, A SIN OF OMISSION, won the 2021 Fiction Prize of the Sunday Times CNA Literary Awards.

The chair of the judging panel, author Ken Barris, said: “Poland is in scathing form in her heartbreaking tale of a young black missionary in the Eastern Cape.”

A SIN OF OMISSION is the fifth novel by acclaimed author Marguerite Poland. The book is published in South Africa by Penguin Random House and will be published in the UK by Envelope Books early next year. The novel was shortlisted for the 2020 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction.

The book tells the story of Stephen, a young Black Anglican priest in the Victorian Era. When he must return to his rural homeland to inform his mother of his brother’s death, long-held conflicts emerge. Torn between allegiance to his people and the Cape’s colonial powers, Stephen must finally confront the contradictions of his life.

Poland is an awardee of the South African Order of Ikhamanga in Silver. Her expertise in African linguistics and anthropology bring Stephen’s world to life. She is fluent in both isiXhosa and isiZulu.

The Sunday Times CNA Literary Awards were founded in 1989 by the weekly South African newspaper, The Sunday Times. The Fiction Prize is awarded to “a novel of rare imagination and style, evocative, textured and a tale so compelling as to become an enduring landmark of contemporary fiction.” The prize is R100 000.

This year’s awards were open to novels from both 2019 and 2020 due to the cancellation of last year’s prize during the coronavirus pandemic. The other shortlisted books were: BREAKING MILK by Dawn Garisch (published by Karavan Press), THE HISTORY OF MAN by Siphiwe Gloria Ndlovu (published by Penguin Fiction, an imprint of Penguin Random House South Africa), SCATTERLINGS by Rešoketšwe Manenzhe (published by Jacana Media) and DUE SOUTH OF COPENHAGEN by Mark Winkler (published by Umuzi, an imprint of Penguin Random House South Africa).

Joining Ken Barris on the judging panel were Nancy Richards, an author and independent journalist, and Wamuwi Mbao, a writer and essayist.

GOLDDIGGERS Longlisted for International Dublin Literary Award

Congratulations! Sue Nyathi’s THE GOLDDIGGERS has been longlisted for the 2020 International Dublin Literary Award!

The shortlist will be announced on 2nd April 2020.

Read more about THE GOLDDIGGERS here

Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia Wins Best International Fiction Award

Congratulations to Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia! She has been awarded the Best International Fiction Book Award at the Sharjah International Book Fair 2019 for THE SON OF THE HOUSE.

His Excellency, HH Sultan bin Muhammad Al Quasimi presented the award, which includes a prize of 50,000 AED.

THE SON OF THE HOUSE is published by Penguin Random House in South Africa and due for release by Dundurn Press in the USA in October

Read more here

THE THEORY OF FLIGHT by Siphiwe Ndlovu WINS the 2019 Sunday Times Prize for Fiction

HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to Siphiwe Ndlovu on winning the 2019 Sunday Times Barry Ronge Fiction Prize for her debut novel THE THEORY OF FLIGHT! 

#STLitAwards2019

THE THEORY OF FLIGHT is published by Umuzi, an imprint of Penguin Random House SA.

THE BLESSED GIRL by Angela Makholwa – Audiobook released

To coincide with the UK publication of THE BLESSED GIRL by Angela Makholwa, the US audiobook has been released.

Have a listen here: http://bit.ly/BlessGirlAudio.

And have a read here: http://bit.ly/BlessGirlPanMac

When you are accustomed to the finer things in life – designer shoes, champagne, VIP lounges, exotic holidays abroad, a luxury penthouse, expensive wheels – what independent young woman in her right mind would want to let them go?

‘In The Blessed Girl, Angela Makholwa has yet again given us a deceptively simple yet layered narrative, in which the plot is as memorable as the characters are unforgettable. Bravo.’ – ZUKISWA WANNER

THE BLESSED GIRL is published by Picador Africa and by Bloomsbury UK.

Claire Robertson’s 2014 Sunday Times Fiction Prize winner to be made into a film.

Visionary film-maker Erica Brumage has optioned film rights in the sweeping, gloriously told literary historical novel THE SPIRAL HOUSE by Claire Robertson.

Katrijn van der Caab, freed slave and wigmaker’s apprentice, travels with her eccentric employer from Cape Town to Vogelzang, a remote farm where a hairless girl needs their services. The year is 1794, it is the age of enlightenment, and on Vogelzang the master is conducting strange experiments in human breeding and classification. It is also here that Trijn falls in love.

Brumage says of the book, ‘Claire’s writing is so evocative and her characters so authentic that one can clearly see them inhabiting their era, hear the vivid cadences of their voices and smell and feel the dirt and sweat of their lives… The Spiral House has an originality and vision that demands particular attention’.

On her vision for the adaptation, Brumage says, ‘Claire’s highly original imagining of the origins of race classification which were to become apartheid in the twentieth century is beautifully constructed as it unfolds through the layers of interweaving love stories with richly rounded characters that are human, fallible, sometimes horrific and entirely fascinating. The tensions between them crackle with energy and dramatic promise, and the ebb and flow of the narrative trajectories of the different character pairings create richly dynamic threads against the backgrounds of the social hierarchies and science of the age.  I’m really excited by the performance potential that exists for the cast of actors that we find for these roles.’

THE SPIRAL HOUSE, won the 2014Sunday Times Barry Ronge Fiction Prize and a South African Literary Award, and was shortlisted for the University of Johannesburg Debut Prize. Robertson has two other novels, THE MAGISTRATE OF GOWERshortlisted for the 2016Sunday Times Fiction Prize, and UNDER GLASS currently long-listed for the 2019 Sunday Times Fiction Prize.

All three books are published by Umuzi, the literary imprint of Penguin Random House.

The acquisition was negotiated by the Lennon-Ritchie Agency.

Fiona Snyckers’s new literary novel LACUNA is a searing, exhilarating and moving response to JM Coetzee’s Booker Prize winning novel DISGRACE.

Lucy Lurie is struggling through PTSD following a gang rape at her father’s farmhouse. The Lucy of Coetzee’s fiction is a passive, peaceful creature, almost entirely lacking in agency. She is the lacuna in Coetzee’s novel—the missing piece of the puzzle.

The Lucy Lurie of Fiona Snyckers’ imagination is no one’s lacuna. Her attempts to claw back her life, and her voice after being gang raped may be messy and misguided, but she won’t be silenced. Her rape is not a metaphor. This is her story.

‘A powerful and brilliant critique of both JM Coetzee’s DISGRACE and contemporary South Africa … Fiona Snyckers makes the reader ponder deeply one minute and laugh loudly the next. A must read.’ Zukiswa Wanner.

‘This book is going to be one of those books we all recognise as one of the most important and best recent novels.’ Eusebius McKaiser, outspoken South African intellectual and broadcaster.

In an interview with Polity SA, Snyckers was asked whether a male writer has the authority to write about a female rape survivor, as Coetzee did in DISGRACE.

‘That is a very difficult question and it’s something that I really wrestled with in this book,’ Snyckers said. ‘I started off thinking, no, what gives you the right as a male writer to talk about such an intimate female experience in this way. But in the end I couldn’t stick to it, I had to come down on the side of, anybody can tell any story. I can’t say, “you can only tell this story and you can only tell that story”. ‘But if you are going to tell a story, you must be prepared for criticism, and you must be prepared for somebody to set up a counter-narrative to your story.’

The book is published in South Africa by Pan Macmillan, click here to enquire about available rights.

Legend signs ‘the most credible’ dystopian novel ever
Legend Press are delighted to acquire World rights (excluding Africa) for ASYLUM, the debut novel by Marcus Low. The deal was made by Legend Press’s Commissioning Editor Lauren Parsons with Aoife Lennon, of The Lennon-Ritchie Agency, Cape Town. The novel will be published in the UK on 15th April 2019.
Asylum was originally published by Pan MacMillan in South Africa in 2017. The Sunday Times (SA) described Asylum as the most credible – and therefore the most disturbing – dystopian novel I [have] ever read: a landscape withering under the onslaught of climatic change, the spread of an uncontrollable superbug, the posturing limpness of politicians and the vague helplessness of well-intentioned but under-supported medical staff.’

Told through the strange and mesmerising diaries of a man with an incurable illness,Asylum is an existential literary novel, set in a quarantine facility in the arid South African Karoo desert. The novel explores the quest for survival when faced with an incurable illness, part inspired by the author’s own degenerative eye condition.

Marcus Low is a Cape Town-based writer and public health specialist. He completed an MA in creative writing at the University of Cape Town in 2009 – for which he wrote an early draft of Asylum. Marcus previously worked as Policy Director at the Treatment Action Campaign, an influencial South African civil society organisation that advocates for the rights and interests of people living with and affected by tuberculosis (TB) and HIV. He remains involved in public health policy both in South Africa and internationally. His novelAsylum was in part inspired by the incarceration of patients with drug-resistant forms of TB in South Africa circa 2008 – something he directly encountered in his work. He was born in Vryburg, South Africa in 1979.

Lauren Parsons, Commissioning Editor comments: ‘We are delighted to sign this searing and engaging novel. Marcus is a wholly original writer and I can’t wait for everyone to read this brilliant and terrifyingly prophetic book’.

Follow Marcus on Twitter at @MarcusLowX