Two African Writers Make Prestigious Booker Shortlist

South African author Damon Galgut and Somali-British novelist Nadifa Mohamed are among the six shortlisted authors for the 2021 Booker Prize.

Galgut’s work, The Promise, follows a white family over the decades from pre-Apartheid to post-Apartheid.

Damon Galgut

“The ultimate question that the novel asks is, is justice – true justice – possible in this world?” Booker panellist Chigozie Obioma said.
“If it is, then what might that look like?”

Mohamed’s book, The Fortune Men, is set in the docks of the Welsh capital, Cardiff, in the aftermath of World War Two. It captures the life of Mahmood Mattan, a real Somali sailor who was wrongly accused of murder.

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Nadifa Mohamed

“This is a story about the past that has great significance for the present,” said judging chair Maya Jasanoff.

This is the second year that two African authors made the shortlist.
In 2020 works by Zimbabwe’s Tsitsi Dangarembga and Ethiopian-American Maaza Mengiste were nominated, but the prize was won by British writer, Douglas Stuart.

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