African Books Nominated for the 2011 IMPAC Dublin Prize

The longlist for the 2011 IMPAC Dublin prize was announced on November 15, 2010. I like this prize for the diversity of books on its lists. It also does not hurt that they announce the titles on their longlist.  I often peruse the lists from previous years when I’m looking for new-to-me books, especially translated fiction.

The longlist includes the following seven books by African authors:

  • Summertime by J.M. Coetzee:  A fictionalized biography of the author’s alter ego
  • Broken Glass by Alain Mabanckou: I read and loved this book.
  • Black Diamond by Zakes Mda: I read Mda’s Ways of Dying years ago. I’ve been meaning to read more books by this prolific South African author.
  • A Man Who is Not a Man by Thando Mgqolozana: A South African story about a botched traditional male circumcision.
  • Sunset Oasis by Bahaa Taher: From Egypt, it won the inaugural International Prize for Arabic Fiction
  • On Black Sisters Street by Chika Unigwe: This book is already on my African Fiction #1 reading list. I really have to read it now.
  • In the United States of Africa by Abdourahman Waberi: From Djibouti. War rages in North America, Africa is at peace but xenophobia is common. Sounds interesting.

The entire 2011 longlist is here and it is quite impressive. There are a lot of good books in contention. And quite a number that I’ve been meaning to read as well. I might have to put together a reading list that is culled from this 162-book  longlist.  Of course, with all that I have to read, I doubt I would make much progress before the shortlist is announced.

The short list will be announced on April 12, 2011.   Lisa of ANZ LitLovers LitBlog has compiled a list of nominated books from Australia and New Zealand. Do check it out as well.



  1. *chuckle* I always hesitate before claiming Coetzee as Australian. It seems rude and inhospitable not to, especially since it’s his choice and he has become a citizen since he’s moved here, but really, people like him (and me) who live in countries other than their birthplace belong in both and neither places, no matter how long we’ve lived in our new homes. I think Coetzee still has an African sensibility; it colours his way of looking at the world. (I think it accounts for his melancholy.)


  2. The list is a tricky one to me because I’ve many favorites in there. Wanted to talk about Coetzee but…I’ve to hold it here for now. However, I’m glad to see you add him to the list. Thanks for this post.


  3. Here I am seconding Nana’s approving comments. I did briefly look at the longlist, but didn’t really check on how many and which African writers were nominated. I do remember being struck at how few Sub-Saharan libraries even made any input though, which is rather sad.


    • Hehe, I was being mischevious 😉 And actually I thought his migration to Australia was a definite break with South Africa. But I’ve read around the issue a bit, after your comment. Coetzee himself has said very very little about his move to South Africa. But I’ve added him to the list.


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