Unigwe, John, Ibrahim shortlisted for Nigeria Prize for Literature

FOUR years after she won The Nigeria Prize for Literature, Belgium-based writer, Chika Unigwe, has again made the shortlist of the Nigeria LNG Limited-sponsored prize worth $100,000.

Unigwe made the shortlist this year with her novel, ‘Night Dancer,’ published by Jonathan Cape and which focuses on the young protagonist’s search for identity and her consequent reappraisal of her mother’s values.

Competing with the 2012 winner of the prize are two male writers, Elnathan John (Born on a Tuesday) and Abubakar Adam Ibrahim (Crimson Blossoms) who are both Civitella Ranieri Fellows.

Published by Parresia Books, ‘Born on a Tuesday’ is a story about contemporary northern Nigeria which has over the years experienced religious violence and carnage as seen through the eyes of a young man.

Ibrahim’s debut novel, ‘Season of Crimson Blossoms’ is published by Cassava Republic Press. It is set in conservative northern Nigeria and focuses on unusual love affairs between characters, as well as ambiguities in religion and politics.

A statement from the NLNG said that chair of the Advisory Board, Professor Emeritus Ayo Banjo, disclosed that the eventual winner will be announced at a world press conference in October.

This year’s entries were appraised by Prof. Dan Izevbaye (jury chair), Professor Asabe Usman Kabir of the Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto and Isidore Diala, first winner of The Nigeria Prize for Literary Criticism and professor of African Literature in the Department of English, Imo State University, Owerri.