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Nominees for 2015’s Man Booker International Prize have just been announced, with four of the ten writers hailing from Africa. The prestigious award, which recognises an author’s continued creativity, development and overall contribution to literature, rather than a single work, comes with a wapping £60,000 prize. Today the Chair of Judges, Professor Marina Warner, of the University of Cape Town said,

The judges have had an exhilarating experience reading for this prize; we have ranged across the world and entered the vision of writers who offer an extraordinary variety of experiences. Fiction can enlarge the world for us all and stretch our understanding and our sympathy. The novel today is in fine form: as a field of inquiry, a tribunal of history, a map of the heart, a probe of the psyche, a stimulus to thought, a well of pleasure and a laboratory of language. Truly, we feel closer to the tree of knowledge.

Chinua Achebe is amongst those who have won in previous years (2007), and this year’s winner will be announced in London on the 19th of May. Writers in the running are;

  • Mia Couto (Mozambique)
  • Ibrahim al-Koni (Libya)
  • Alain Mabanckou (Congo-Brazzaville)
  • Marlene van Niekerk (South Africa)

Crossbones is the final installment of Somali author, Nuruddin Farah’s Past Imperfect trilogy. Brilliantly written, it delves into Somalia’s history with a tapestry of flawed and interesting characters. His timely portrayal of Somali pirates and war profiteers reveal a more rounded, deeper depiction of those who fill our news reports and the complex situations that surround them. This is a book that works well as an introduction to Somalia, and as a stand alone novel.

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