Jamaican authors vie for int’l literary award

Jamaican authors vie for int’l literary award

Written by Editor

Topics: Literature

A-dZiko Simba Gegele’s debut novel “All Over Again” (Blouse and Skirt Books, 2013) and Kerry Young’s sophomore opus “Gloria” (Bloomsbury, 2013) have made the initial cut for the 2015 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the world’s most valuable literary prize for a single work of fiction published in English. The two Jamaican writers are among the 142 authors from 39 countries competing for top honours and the €100,000.00 cash prize.

A-dziko, who is of Jamaican and Nigerian parentage, has solid spoken word credentials and a growing body of written work that spans multiple genres. Earlier this year, “All Over Again” won the inaugural Burt Award for Caribbean Literature.

A-dZiko Simba Gegele

A-dZiko Simba Gegele at the launch of her debut novel “All Over Again” in Kingston, Jamaica in 2013. Publisher Blouse and Skirts Books describes the novel as “an enchanting slice of boyhood…a charming story with a bold narrative style that pulls you in”.


all over again - front cover FAW2013

Young’s novel “Gloria” is the second in a trilogy set in Jamaica that explores three people’s interlinked stories of “struggle and redemption, love and ambition, race, class, gender and colour in a country at a crossroads”. The novel was longlisted for the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature and shortlisted for the East Midlands Book Award. The Kingston-born writer’s first novel “Pao” (Bloomsbury, 2011) was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award, the Commonwealth Book Prize and the East Midlands Book Award. 

Another writer on this year’s IMPAC Dublin Literary Award longlist with roots in the English-speaking Caribbean is Robert Antoni, author of “As Flies to Whatless Boys”, which earned him a Guggenheim Fellowship and the 2014 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature. A former winner of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for best first novel,“Divina Trace”, Antoni was born in the US to Trinidadian parents and grew up in the Bahamas.

Other award-winning books contending for the 2015 IMPAC Dublin Literary Award include “The Narrow Road to the Deep North” by Richard Flanagan (Australia), winner of the 2014 Man Booker Prize; “The Goldfinch” by Donna Tartt (USA), winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction; and “The Good Lord Bird” by James McBride (USA), winner of the 2013 National Book Award. Acclaimed Harry Potter author J.K Rowling, writing under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, is also in the running with “The Cuckoo’s Calling”. Fiction heavyweights Stephen King (“Doctor Sleep”) and Margaret Atwood (“MaddAddam”) also made the list.

The previous four winners of the award are “The Sound of Things Falling” by Juan Gabriel Vásquez, translated from Spanish by Anne McLean (2014), “City of Bohane” by Kevin Barry (2013), “Even the Dogs” by Jon McGregor (2012) and  “Let the Great World Spin” by Colum McCann (2011).

Jamaican books that have previously made the cut include “The True History of Paradise” (Dutton, 2000) by Margaret Cezair-Thompson, “The Goat Woman of Largo Bay” (Atria Books USA, 2012) by Gillian Royes, and “Dancing Lessons” (Cormorant Books, 2011) by Olive Senior.

The longlist is compiled from nominations made from 114 libraries across the world. The shortlist will be announced on April 15, 2015 and the winner on June 17, 2015.

Leave a Comment Here's Your Chance to Be Heard!

To prove you're a person (not a spam script), type the security word shown in the picture. Click on the picture to hear an audio file of the word.
Anti-spam image