By Wallace Mawire
Tsitsi Dangarembga, Zimbabwe’s prolific writer’s sublime novel has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize.
South Africa’s Jacana Media said that this is a boost for Zimbabwean and southern African novelists and congratulated Dangarembga.
“We are over the moon to be the southern African publishers of This Mournable Body,” Jacana Media said.
The Booker judges wrote, ‘In this tense and psychologically charged novel, Tsitsi Dangarembga channels the hope and potential of one young girl and a fledgling nation to lead us on a journey to discover where lives go after hope has departed.’
The Booker Prize for Fiction, formerly known as the Booker–McConnell Prize (1969–2001) and the Man Booker Prize (2002–2019), is a literary prize awarded each year for the best original novel written in the English language and published in the United Kingdom.
The winner of the Booker Prize is generally assured international renown and success.
The prize is of great significance for the book trade. From its inception, only novels written by Commonwealth, Irish, and South African (and later Zimbabwean) citizens were eligible to receive the prize.
In 2014 it was widened to any English-language novel,a change that proved controversial.
A high-profile literary award in British culture, the Booker Prize is greeted with anticipation and fanfare.
It is also a mark of distinction for authors to be selected for inclusion in the shortlist or even to be nominated for the “longlist”.
The announcement has been made by Jacana Media, the only major South African Publishing company and owner-managed.
The Jacana Literary Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation, runs literary competitions, the Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Award for best poetry in all languages, the Dinaane Debut Fiction Award, and the Gerald Kraak Award and Anthology, a collection of exceptional works which explore, interrogate and celebrate the topics of gender, sexuality and human rights.They are also the original publishers of The Caine Prize for African Writing.