Obioma’s novel makes 2019 Booker Prize shortlist

Nigeria’s Chigozie Obioma
Nigeria’s Chigozie Obioma

Nigeria’s Chigozie Obioma has made the Booker Prize shortlist for his novel ‘An Orchestra of Minorities.’

The selection of six books out of a longlist of 13 was announced early this week. It includes Margaret Atwood (Canada), ‘The Testaments,’ Lucy Ellmann (USA/UK), ‘Ducks, Newburyport,’ Bernardine Evaristo (UK), ‘Girl, Woman, Other,’ Salman Rushdie (UK/India), ‘Quichotte,’ and Elif Shafak (UK/Turkey) for ‘10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World.’

Chair of judges, Peter Florence, founder and director of Hay Festival said: “They range these books on the shortlist across acres of time and space, and geographical location, culture and civilisation and they are like a complete compendium of wonders of the world.”

A judge, Joanna MacGregor, concert pianist, conductor and composer described the selection process as a very hard choice to make.

Xiaolu Guo, novelist, essayist and filmmaker said “I think it is amazing how these six books suggest we come from such a different world, and they have made our own voice heard, whether you come from a minority or a majority.”

Former fiction publisher and editor, Liz Calder confessed that it is going to be difficult choosing the winner “out of six such brilliant, such different and such memorable books.”

Afua Hirsch said she is still in awe of “the range of stories and voices that they bring and the worlds they open up. It’s an incredibly eclectic group.”

Obioma’s novel tells the story of a poultry farmer who travels to get an education in Northern Cyprus in order to win over the family of the girl he loves. His debut novel, ‘The Fishermen’, was nominated for the Booker Prize in 2015.

The Booker Prize is awarded annually to the best novel of the year written in English and published in the UK or Ireland.


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