The literati will interact with the 11 writers longlisted for this year’s Nigeria Prize for Literature at a Book Party on Sunday, August 8 at 3 pm at Eko Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.
The Committee for Relevant Art (CORA) and Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Ltd, sponsors of the prestigious prize, are jointly organising the event. It is the 12th edition of the Book Party that debuted in 2009.
This year’s event, lasting three hours, will be both physical and virtual, with the 11 writers on the longlist expected to join physically in the room. The provision would be made for those abroad to join virtually too.
Commenting on the book party’s significance General Manager, External Relations and Sustainable Development, NLNG, Eyono Fatai, said it has several benefits.
She said, “The party also helps promote a reading culture especially among young Nigerians, engage relevant publics in literature, academia, and the media and stimulate public interest in the Longlisted works and the NPL.”
The 11 novels shortlisted for the 18th NPL include, Delusion of Patriots – Obianuju V. Chukwuorji; Give Us Each Day – Samuel Monye; Imminent River – Anaele Ihuoma;. In The Name of Our Father – Olukorede S. Yishau, and Mountain of Yesterday – Tony Nwaka.
The others are Neglected – Lucy Chiamaka Okwuma;The Colours of Hatred – Obinna Udenwa,; The Girl with The Louding Voice – Abi Dare; The Return of Half- Something – Chukwudi Eze,; The Son of The House – Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia, and Your Church, My Shrine – Law Ikay Ezeh.
The $100,000 NPL is the most significant cash prize award for a literary competition on the African continent. “Although that is quite some significant amount of money in anyone’s account CORA sees, in it an opportunity for the creation of an entire economy around the book trade”, said Jahman Anikulapo, Programme Chair of CORA, who conceived the idea of the book party during a review of the first five years of the award in 2009.
The review was organised in response to calls that the prize should do more than a glamourous Gala night in which one author got rich, but the Nigerian book trade and literary scene as a whole didn’t seem elevated.