Jowhor Ile’s ‘And After Many Days’ Makes 2016 Etisalat Prize Shortlist

We’re extremely excited to announce that Jowhor Ile’s debut novel, And After Many Days, has been shortlisted for the 2016 Etisalat Prize for Literature.

According to this year’s Chair of Judges for the Prize, Helon Habila, “In addition to originality of voice and literary excellence, our purpose was to also select a work that portrays an ‘African sensibility'”.

The winner for the 2016 Etisalat Prize for Literature will be unveiled at the Grand Finale in Lagos, scheduled to take place in March 2017.

Praise for Jowhor Ile’s And After Many Days:

“One rarely finds ‘page-turner’ and ‘poetry’ in the same sentence, but And After Many Days is a rarity indeed. At once calm, collected, lyrical and heartbreaking, Ile’s debut is many things: an achingly tender portrait of family life, a brilliantly executed whodunnit, a searing critique of Nigerian politics, a meditation on love. I couldn’t put it down and was forever changed when I did. The Utu family will stay with me always.” —Taiye Selasi, author of Ghana Must Go

“Ile creates an atmosphere of ominous tension and renders the grief of the family in restrained and moving language. He has a particular talent for reflecting the perfect details that make even a passing moment come to life.” —Chigozie Obioma, The New York Times Book Review

And After Many Days is a brilliant novel that paints a vivid picture of a changing society, effortlessly shifting between moments and years, all while keeping us grounded in a growing boy’s understanding of himself and the surrounding world. It is a book that offers profound insight into a country that headlines can never capture. A wonderful debut.” —Uzodinma Iweala, author of Beasts of No Nation

“Jowhor Ile is rooted in the lush mindscape of the Niger delta. For here is a writer whose rare insight is evident not only through the voice he breathes into his characters but also in how deep he digs to tap the wellspring of their history. Bumps of pleasure and flashes of recognition lie in ambush on page after page of this smooth-singing, hard-hitting novel—a tender and lucid accomplishment by a distinctive talent.” —A. Igoni Barrett, author of Love Is Power, Or Something Like That
 
“Jowhor Ile is a rare talent. This rich book is ripe with mood and full of love, masterfully written with the perfect emotional pitch. Nigeria has a new star.” —Binyavanga Wainaina, author of One Day I Will Write About This Place

Buy copies of And After Many Days online, or call us on 0807 736 4217. 

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VOGUE Comes Home to Americanah

Vogue Culture

Megan O’Grady describes AMERICANAH as, “a love story for our time”, in her review for US Vogue

“I have for a very long time wanted to write an unapologetic love story,” says Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. “But one that is very much set in a practical world affected by things like getting a visa and paying rent.”

The Nigerian author’s superb third novel, Americanah (Knopf), is that rare thing in contemporary literary fiction: a lush, big-hearted love story that also happens to be a piercingly funny social critique. A young Nigerian woman, Ifemelu, comes to Philadelphia for college, where she’s continually told things like “It’s so sad that people live on less than a dollar a day in Africa.” With her boyfriend Obinze unable to get a visa, Ifemelu has relationships with two Americans: the Waspy, blithely entitled Curt, to whom she explains the significance of Essence magazine (a scene taken directly from Adichie’s own experience with an ex-boyfriend); and the hip African-American Yale professor, Blaine, who listens to Coltrane, eats quinoa, and refers to his friends as “cats.” Farafina's AMERICANAH

As it turns out, Ifemelu’s outsider perspective is precisely what makes her a shrewd analyst of American culture. She starts a blog: Raceteenth or Various Observations About American Blacks (Those Formerly Known as Negroes) by a Non-American Black. In it, she puzzles over the things she sees and the people she meets, writing tartly rueful posts with titles like “Not All Dreadlocked White American Guys Are Down” and “Badly-Dressed White Middle Managers from Ohio Are Not Always What You Think”—the latter about a man shunned by his neighbors after adopting a black child. Coinciding with Ifemelu’s racial awakening is the 2008 presidential election, and her excitement about the Obamas inspires riffs on everything from sexual politics to the future First Lady’s impeccably coiffed hair. “Imagine if Michelle Obama got tired of all that heat and decided to go natural… She would totally rock, but poor Obama would certainly lose the independent vote.”

Read the rest of the article here.