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Nigeria’s new literary bride

Nwaubani, in her book, goes behind the mails to put actual names and faces to this mysterious ‘yahozee’ boys, she also gave them life and…

Nwaubani, in her book, goes behind the mails to put actual names and faces to this mysterious ‘yahozee’ boys, she also gave them life and stories, revealing why they do what they do. This has impressed the judges of this year’s Prize.

The prize has announced Nwaubani’s arrival on the literary landscape in a loud voice. And the author herself was delighted on learning that she has won the coveted prize.

Ironically, for someone who wrote about Internet fraud, one of the biggest news of her life came from the internet as she told Sunday Trust; “I’d known that the results were being announced yesterday [Thursday]. So when I waited till 1pm and didn’t hear from my publishers, I visited the BOOKS SA website which I had been told would be covering the live event.  And there was my book cover and my name staring right at me!  ‘I won!’ I screamed and then proceeded to ring my father.  But he couldn’t hear me because the reception was poor.”

Nigeria’s Uwem Akpan won the same prize last year and Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie, who had won it in 2005, was in the running for this year’s Best Book prize for her short story collection, The Thing Around Your Neck, alongside compatriot, Abidemi Sanusi’s Eyo. The duo lost to South Africa’s Marie Heese’s The Double Crown.

Nwaubani, a psychology graduate from University of Ibadan, saw off challenges for the best First Book prize from fellow Nigerian Kachi Ozumba, Ghana’s Ayesha Attah and four other South Africans.

Nwaubani and Marie Heese will now be in the running for the overall Best First Book and the Best Book Prize respectively alongside other regional winners from the Caribbean and Canada, South Asia and Europe, South East Asia and Pacific. The two overall winners will be announced April 12 in Delhi, India.


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