Chimamanda Adichie, Nnedi Okorafor and Ngugi wa Thiong’o on the Alternative Nobel Prize Longlist

Chimamanda Adichie, Nnedi Okorafor and Ngugi wa Thiong’o on the Alternative Nobel Prize Longlist
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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Nnedi Okorafor and Ngugi wa Thiong’o have been longlisted for the Alternative Nobel Prize, the only three Africans nominated. The 47-name longlist includes heavyweight figures such as Marilynne Robinson, Haruki Murakami, Cormac McCarthy, Joyce Carol Oates, JK Rowling, Don DeLillo, Ian McEwan, Jamaica Kincaid, Margaret Atwood, Thomas Pynchon, Arundhati Roy, Donna Tartt, Zadie Smith, and Elena Ferrante. The award is open for voting until August 14.

Created by The New Academy, an organisation of Swedish librarians, in response to news that the 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature would not be awarded following the sex scandal rocking the Swedish Academy who awards the prize, the Alternative Nobel Prize states that a considered author must be a “writer of literary fiction who within the reader has entered the story of mankind in the world.” Considered authors further need to have published at least two works, one of which must be within the last ten years. In addition, Nobel Prize in Literature laureates are not eligible.

The shortlist will have four writers—three of whom will be voted in, the last of whom will be nominated by the librarians. Given the Nobel Prize’s questionable history of 14 female winners out of 114 laureates, the Alternative Nobel’s shortlist will be restricted by gender—two women, two men.

The longlist has been praised by Book Riot as “representing a new level of diversity for the typically predictable Nobel list,” and by The Guardian as “a wonderfully eclectic lineup.”

 

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