Ghanaian-American writer, Yaa Gyasi, is the only African-born author named in the Women’s Prize 2021 longlist for her sophomore novel ‘Transcendent Kingdom’.
The Women’s Prize recently announced its much-awaited longlist for 2021. The longlist includes a diverse group of sixteen female writers spanning settings across the globe including Yaa Gyasi’s birth country, Ghana. Gyasi’s second critically acclaimed novel, Transcendent Kingdom, has landed her on the longlist putting her steadily in the race for the win.
Gyasi released Transcendent Kingdom in 2020 following her award-winning 2016 debut Homegoing which sold for over a million US dollars. Transcendent Kingdom’s narrative is different from Homegoing however it keeps to the author’s recurring theme of separation. The novel follows a Ghanaian family in Alabama torn apart by the heartbreaking effects of drug addiction. This is Gyasi’s first Women’s Prize nomination and the only African-born author to make the 2021 longlist, this according to Brittle Paper.
Other notable nominations include, Amanda Craig, a British novelist who was born in South Africa and grew up in Italy before moving to London. Craig is longlisted for The Golden Rule. The 2020 Booker Prize shortlist nominee Avni Doshi makes the list for Burnt Sugar and Barbadian Cherie Jones with her novel How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House.
The 26th edition of the Women’s Prize longlist comes with controversy after non-gender conforming trans author Akwaeke Emezi, reportedly refused to submit their work for the prize despite being nominated in 2019 for their debut novel Freshwater. Following Emezi’s announcement the Chair of Judges, Bernardine Evaristo, stated that transwomen are considered however the awarding committee requires information on an author’s sex as defined ”by law”. Torry Peters, debut author behind Detransition, Baby, marks the Women’s Prize first transwoman to make the list in 2021.
The shortlist of six authors will be announced on the 28th of April and the winner will be announced on the 7th of July.
Here’s the full list of authors nominated in the 2021 Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist.
Because of You by Dawn French
Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi
Consent by Annabel Lyon
Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters
Exciting Times by Naoise Dolan
How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House by Cherie Jones
Luster by Raven Leilani
No One is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood
Nothing But Blue Sky by Kathleen MacMahon
Piranesi by Susanna Clarke
Small Pleasures by Clare Chambers
Summer by Ali Smith
The Golden Rule by Amanda Craig
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
Unsettled Ground by Claire Fuller