The 2010 Aidoo-Snyder Book Prize: Winner and Finalists

The Aidoo-Snyder Book Prize, inaugurated in 2007, is awarded by the Women’s Caucas of the African Studies Assoication.  It is named in honor of  Ama Ata Aidoo, the Ghanaian writer and, Margaret Snyder, the founding Director of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM).  The prize is awarded annually for “an outstanding book by a woman that prioritizes African women’s experience.  In alternate years, the prize is awarded for the best scholarly book, or for the best creative work”.

This year’s winner for the best creative work is Ancestor Stones by Aminatta Forna.

The other nine finalists are:

  • Everything Good Will Come by Sefi Atta (Nigeria) Interlink Books, November 2007 HONORABLE MENTION
  • Not Without Flowers by Amma Darko (Ghana), published by Sub-Saharan Publishers, 2007
  • The Uncertainty of Hope by Valerie Tagwira (Zimbabwe), published by Weaver Press, 2008
  • The House of Falling Women by Rosemary Ekosso (Cameroon), published by Langaa RPCIG, 2008
  • UnConfessed by Yvette Christainse (South Africa), Other Press, 2007
  • The Writing Circle by Rozona Maart (South Africa) TSAR, 2007
  • On Black Sisters’ Street by Chika Unigwe (Nigeria) Jonathan Cape Ltd, July 2009
  • An Elegy for Easterly by Petina Gappah (Zimbabwe), Faber & Faber, April 2009
  • Wanjira by Wambui B. Githoiora (Kenya) Dog Ear Publishing LLC, Feb 2008

Congrats to the winner and the finalists!

I will now go in search of these books. A couple are already on one of my other lists.

Have you read any of these books?  Your thoughts?



  1. It seems there is a definite case for an affordable elections book reader for Africa with access to free classics and affordable current books. I just wonder if there would be enough demand to source the rights for the literature. I think I’ll look into it – especially after reading this post, I am yearning to read these nine books but again, where can you find them?


    • Yep, Africa could really benefit if electronic readers were affordable. Would fill the pressing need for books and libraries. Nice to see you here, Victor. Be sure to drop by often 🙂


  2. Oh how great, I have a copy of Ancestor Stones! I picked it up randomly and have yet to read it, but it’s always great to hear good things of a book that you acquired in a rather haphazard way!

    I haven’t heard of any of the others though 😦


    • Yes, I’m hearing really good things about the book as well as her new novel, The Memory of Love. I hope you enjoy reading it when you finally get to it.


  3. I loved Ancestor Stones when I read it a few months ago, the characters and stories have really stayed with me. I’ve read a few of Aminatta Forna’s books, she always writes so beautifully, she’s one of my favourite authors I can definitely recommend her books.

    Thank you for publishing this list, I’m looking forward to having a read of some of the others.


  4. Great post! I never heard of this literary award and the list just opens up just another new list of books to be explored. I’m awfully under-read in this category.


  5. Is it bad that I haven’t read, nor heard about, any of these? I guess I need to be more informed on World literature, or any literature, really. But I guess that’s what I have you for 🙂


    • No, Iris, it’s not bad. The prize is relatively new and it is particularly good for discovering African women writers, some of whom may not be widely known. And yes, that’s why I’m here 🙂


  6. I am happy to see Amma Darko’s Not Without Flowers in the finalist however, I will look out for Ancestors Stones. But Nana, the problem with Scarcity of books here is so exasperating that, I am thinking of setting up a bookstore in the near future where the availability of literary books would be as common as the air we breathe in. You want a Faulkner book and you would have to search and search and search until you are tired. And if you are lucky to find one in some of these ‘big’ bookstores, you buy at high and sky-rocketing prizes. Hash!

    Kinna, thanks for this post ‘cus never heard of this book prize before.


  7. I’ve not heard of any of these, much less read them, so I really appreciate your listing them and drawing attention to them. The power of book blogs! 🙂


  8. I haven’t read any of these books or heard of the prize before, but a few of the books are on my radar. I’d most like to read On Black Sisters’ Street after I heard her talk at the Cheltenham festival last year. I look forward to finding out what you think of all the books. Thanks for drawing the prize to my attention.


  9. It’s high time I increased my reading rate… so much to read so little time. Have read and reviewed Not without Flowers. Loved that. Aminatta Fiona seems to be soaring and I think it’s high time I read her.

    Books books where are they? Ah! Looking for books in Ghana is like looking for pins in haysticks, excuse the cliche here but it is appropriate. All the used books stands sell only ‘John Grisham, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Sydney Sheldon, Danielle Steel and many others. No William Golding, Cervantes, George Eliot, Orwell, James Joyce, Vikas Swarup, Toni Morrison, Wallace, Faulker, Martel etc.

    Now I am far back behind my top 100. Hmmm! Thanks anyway I would keep on adding them and only look forward in coming across them…


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