Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Nigeria), shortlisted in 2002, won the Commonwealth First Book Prize in 2005 for her novel Purple Hibiscus, published by Harper Perennial, which was shortlisted for the Orange Prize in 2004. Chimamanda won the 2007 Orange Prize for Fiction, for her second novel Half of a Yellow Sun. A collection of her short stories The Thing Around Your Neck was published by Fourth Estate in 2009. Her short story "Ceiling" was included in the 2011 edition of The Best American Short Stories. Her third novel, Americanah was shortlisted for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2014.
Uwem Akpan (Nigeria) was shortlisted in 2007. His book Say You’re One of Them was published by Little Brown and translated in to 10 languages. It won the Best First Book award in the Africa region of the Commonwealth Literature Prize in 2009 and was critically acclaimed by Oprah Winfrey on Oprah’s Book Club the same year, prompting it to reach the top of the New York Times bestseller list. Other awards include a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and the PEN/Beyond Margins Award. Akpan divides his time between Nigeria and the United States. He is a Cullman Center Fellow for 2014 and is writing a novel called Las Vegas, My Village.
Sefi Atta (Nigeria), shortlisted in 2006, is the author of three novels Everything Good Will Come, Swallow and A Bit of Difference, and the short story collection News From Home. Winner of the PEN International 2004/5 David T.K. Wong Prize, she also won the first Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa in 2006 for Everything Good Will Come, and the final NOMA Award for Publishing in Africa in 2009 for Lawless and other stories, now published as News From Home. Her publishers include Interlink Books in the USA, AAA Press in Nigeria, Jacana Media in South Africa and Fourth Estate in the UK.
Mia Couto (Mozambique), shortlisted in 2001, is one of the most prominent writers in Portuguese-speaking Africa. In 2007, he became the first African author to win the prestigious Latin Union literary prize, which has been awarded annually in Italy since 1990. A number of his books are published in the UK by Serpent’s Tail including A River Called Time, Under the Frangipani, Sleepwalking Land and Last Flight of the Flamingo. His most recent novel L'accordeur de silences (The Tuner of Silences) was published in 2012. Couto received the 2013 Camões Prize for Literature, a prestigious award given to Portuguese-language writers and he was awarded the prestigious Neustadt International Prize for Literature in 2014. The $50,000 prize is sponsored by the University of Oklahoma, the Neustadt family, and World Literature Today, the university’s award-winning magazine of international literature and culture.
Mukoma wa Ngugi (Kenya), shortlisted in 2009, published his first novel Nairobi Heat in 2009 (Penguin, SA). In 2010, he was shortlisted for the Penguin Prize for African Writing for his novel manuscript, The First and Second Books of Transition. Editions of Nairobi Heat have also been published in Kenya (East African Publishers) and Nigeria (Cassava Republic Press). The sequel Black Star Nairobi was published in 2013. Mukoma is an Assistant Professor of English at Cornell University, specializing in twentieth-century Anglophone African literature.
Chika Unigwe (Nigeria), shortlisted in 2004, was shortlisted in 2006 for the Dutch equivalent of the Orange Prize for her novel translated into Dutch, de fenicks. She won the 2003 BBC Short Story Competition for her story “Borrowed Smile”, a Commonwealth Short Story Award forWeathered Smiles and a Flemish literary prize for De Smaak van Sneeuw. Her second novel, On Black Sisters’ Street, first published in Dutch, was published in Chika’s own English version by Jonathan Cape in 2009 and Random House in 2011 and won the Nigerian Prize for Literature. Her most recent novel Nightdancer was published in June 2012 by Jonathan Cape. She won the 2013 Sylt Foundation African Writer’s Residency Award.
Abdourahman Waberi (Djibouti), shortlisted in 2000, has been a member of the International Jury for the Lettre Ulysses Award for the Art of Reportage (Berlin, Germany), 2003 & 2004, was awarded with several honours including the Stefan-Georg-Preis in 2006. He has lived in Berlin as a guest of DAAD in 2007. His novel In The United States of Africa came out 2009. In 2010, he was a William F. Podlich Distinguished Fellow and a visiting professor at Claremont McKenna College, California, a jury member of the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and an Academie de France Villa Medici fellow in Roma, Italy. He published his novel Passage of Tears with Seagull Books in 2011, distributed in the USA by the University of Chicago Press.
Laila Lalami (Morocco), shortlisted in 2006, published a short story collection Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits (2005) and her first novel,Secret Son, published by Algonquin Books in 2009 was longlisted for the Orange Prize. Her essays and opinion pieces have appeared inNewsweek, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, The Nation, the Guardian, the New York Times, and in numerous anthologies. Her work has been translated into ten languages. She is the recipient of a British Council Fellowship, a Fulbright Fellowship, and a Lannan Foundation Residency Fellowship and is currently an associate professor of creative writing at the University of California at Riverside. Her novel, The Moor’s Account, was published by Pantheon in 2014.