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One hundred Swedish cultural figures have come together to set up an alternative to this year’s Nobel Prize for Literature – The New Academy’s Alternative Nobel Prize – and two brilliant Nigerian authors made the list.
“In a time when human values are increasingly being called into question, literature becomes an even more important counterforce to stop the culture of silence and oppression.” — The New Academy

Nominated authors

Nnedi Okorafor and Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie are amongst the authors longlisted by Swedish librarians, some of which are both old and fresh faces in the literature world:
  • Margaret Atwood
  • Haruki Murakami
  • Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o
  • JK Rowling
  • Sofi Oksanen
  • Olga Tokarczuk
  • Don DeLillo
  • Neil Gaiman
  • Patti Smith
  • Elena Ferrante (pseudonym)
View the full list of nominees here. In addition, The New Academy is enforcing a gender quota, where an equal number of men and women will be shortlisted. No Nigerian since Wole Soyinka has won the Nobel Prize for Literature; Soyinka won the prize in 1986. It would be thrilling to see another Nigerian grab the prize, as many incredible writers hail from the nation, some of which include Lola Shoneyin (convener of Ake Festival), Sefi Atta, Chika Unigwe, Teju Cole,  Eghosa Imasuen, Tomi Adeyemi, Elnathan John and Tope Folarin.

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This article was first published on 30th July 2018 and updated on September 13th, 2018 at 9:55 am


Ibiene loves poetry and good books. She is the author of a collection of poems and short stories, 'Loving Gladys' (2020).

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