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Nigerian Writer Anietie Isong Wins UK prize With Debut Novel

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Anietie Isong PHOTO: Tom Pilston

Nigerian writer Anietie Isong has emerged the winner of 2018 McKitterick Prize with his debut novel Radio Sunrise, making him the first Nigerian to do so since its establishment in 1990.

The McKitterick Prize is awarded for a first novel by a writer over 40, the Society of Authors said.

“I wrote Radio Sunrise to help draw attention to a myriad of issues in Nigeria, and I am thrilled that this resonated with the judges,” Isong said.

Speaking at the event which took place at the Royal Institute of British Architects Aamer Hussein, the prize judge and fellow of the Royal Society of Literature commended Anietie’s distinct writing.

Aamer said “It’s a particular pleasure to discover the original, intriguing voice of Anietie Isong. In his brief, deftly told Radio Sunrise, the author depicts his often-hapless protagonist’s sexual mishaps and political travails on a journey to his hometown with a unique blend of humour and poignance. An intriguing and accomplished new novelist.”

Apart from receiving the £4000 prize money, Anietie has received previous awards like a Commonwealth Short Story Award and the Remember Oluwale Writing Prize.

Anietie, a journalist, speechwriter and public relations manager in the UK and in Nigeria recently completed a PhD in New Media and Writing at De Montfort University, Leicester.

He has also been invited to speak at the Marlborough Literature Festival in the UK, in September.


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