Kenyan author and Fellow of the Ebedi International Writers Residency, Peter Ngila, has clinched the prestigious 2023 James Currey Prize for African Literature, marking a significant milestone in his literary career.
Ngila, who participated in the Ebedi Residency programme from January 15 to February 28, 2017, will not only be awarded a cash prize of £1000 but will also see his exceptional manuscript, titled “The Legend of Beach House,” published by Abibiman Publishers, UK.
One of the esteemed judges of the competition, Dr Nneoma Otuegbe, lauded Ngila’s winning entry as a “fantasy magical realism” work that ventures into themes not often explored in African literature. She described the novel as a haunting narrative infused with futuristic elements, cleverly utilising the beach house as a metaphor for human contradictions and soul-searching.
The James Currey Prize for African Literature, now in its third year, was conceived to recognise outstanding unpublished fiction composed in English, with a specific focus on stories set in Africa or featuring African characters, both within the continent and throughout the African diaspora.
Peter Ngila’s remarkable achievement solidifies his position among a distinguished group of award-winning Ebedi Fellows, including literary luminaries like Doreen Baingana, Igoni Barrett, Ayobami Adebayo, Elnathan John, Yewande Omotoso, Saddiq Dzukogi, Jumoke Verissimo, and Romeo Oriogun, among others.
The Ebedi International Writers Residency, established in 2010 as a haven for writers, has graciously hosted over 200 writers hailing from 12 African countries since its inception. Ngila’s triumph serves as a testament to the programme’s dedication to nurturing literary talents across the African continent.