Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, seven others awarded 2018 Windham-Campbell Prizes

Recipients of the 2018 Windham-Campbell Prizes were announced today and Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi (aka the writer of Kintu) is among the eight winners.  It can hard for me to express coherently, without devolving into a hot mess, just how seismic Kintu‘s arrival into my reading life has been. It’s the book I talk about the most, the one that I’m always recommending to others to read. I’m so grateful to Jennifer for writing, for gifting us this magnificence.

I want to thank the Windham-Campbell Prizes for celebrating Jennifer with this award.  It comes with a purse of $165,000 for each of the eight recipients and that is no small change.  The indigenous Australian Poet, Ali Cobby Eckermann, a recipient of the 2017 Windham-Campbell Prizes, said the prize “will completely change my life”. The independence and the freedom to create more that this Prize scheme offers to eight writers each year should never be overlooked.

The eight recipients for the 2018 Windham-Campbell Prizes are: in drama Lucas Hnath (US) and Suzan-Lori Parks (US); in nonfiction, Sarah Bakewell (UK) and Olivia Laing (UK); in fiction, John Keene (US) and Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi (Uganda/UK); and in poetry, Lorna Goodison (Jamaica) and Cathy Park Hong (US).

This is such a strong list of writers.  Congratulations especially also to the poet Lorna Goodison and the playwright Suzan-Lori Parks!

The Windham-Campbell Prizes were “established in 2013 with a gift from the late Donald Windham in memory of his partner of 40 years, Sandy M. Campbell, the prizes are among the richest and most prestigious literary prizes on earth. Writers from around the world are nominated confidentially and judged anonymously.”

Visit the website to learn more about the Windham-Campbell.

Congratulations to all the 2018 recipients!




  1. Such brilliant news, I’m waiting for it to arrive so I can read it and I’m really hoping it will be on the Women’s Prize long list announced tonight, though I haven’t read it yet, this is so up my reading alley and I just know it’s going to be great, what a massive surprise for a debut author, and especially a prize that doesn’t announce a long or short list, you just get a call to say you’ve won, I imagine she might have thought it a joke!

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