On Saturday, 4 September 2010, Penguin Books announced the non-fiction and fiction winners of the inaugural Penguin Prize for African Writing. This award seeks to highlight the diverse writing talent on the African continent and make new African fiction and non-fiction available to a wider readership.
“We were overwhelmed by the number of entries for these two awards and, after hearing from the judges and readers who read the submissions, encouraged by the writing talent coming out of our continent. Congratulations to the two worthy winners,” said Alison Lowry, CEO, Penguin Books South Africa
The Penguin Prize for African Writing Winners are;
Pius Adesanmi – You’re Not a Country, Africa!
In this groundbreaking collection of essays Pius Adesanmi tries to unravel what it is that Africa means to him as an African, and by extension to all those who inhabit this continent of extremes. This is a question that exercised some of the continent’s finest minds in the twentieth century, but which pan-Africanism, Negritude, nationalism, decolonisation and all the other projects through which Africans sought to restore their humanity ultimately failed to answer. Crisscrossing the continent, Adesanmi engages with the enigma that is Africa in an attempt to make meaning of this question for all twenty-first century Africans.
Pius Adesanmi was born in Nigeria but now lives in Ottowa, Canada.
Ellen Banda-Aaku – Patchwork
Destined from birth to inhabit two very different worlds – that of her father, the wealthy Joseph Sakavungo, and that of her mother, his mistress – this emotive tale takes us to the heart of a young girl’s attempts to come to terms with her own identity and fashion a future for herself from the patchwork of the life she was born into. Beautifully constructed, warm and wise, this is a novel that will transport the reader to a world in which we can all become more of the sum of our parts.
Ellen Banda-Aaku was born in Zambia and now resides in London, England.