Sierra Leonean author Aminatta Forna, who last month won the 2011 Commonwealth Writers’ Best Book Prize for the Africa region, has been shortlisted for yet another award. Forna is one of six authors shortlisted for the 2011 Orange Prize for fiction, an award that was set up in 1996 to celebrate and promote fiction by women throughout the world.
The finalists include:
- Emma Donoghue (Irish) – Room (published by Picador)
- Aminatta Forna (British/Sierra Leonean) – The Memory of Love (published by Bloomsbury)
- Emma Henderson (British) – Grace Williams Says it Loud (published by Sceptre)
- Nicole Krauss (American) – Great House (published by Viking)
- Téa Obreht (Serbian/American) – The Tiger’s Wife (published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
- Kathleen Winter (Canadian) – Annabel (published by Jonathan Cape).
The award ceremony will take place in The Clore Ballroom, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, London, on 8 June 2011. The winner will receive a cheque for £30,000 and a limited edition bronze statue known as ‘the Bessie’, created by artist Grizel Niven. Both are anonymously endowed.
Sudanese author, Leile Aboulela’s novel, Lyrics Alley and Nigerian writer, Lola Shoneyin’s The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives both made the long list but missed out on the final six.
Aminatta Forna was born in Scotland and raised in West Africa. Her first book, The Devil that Danced on the Water, was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize 2003. Her novel Ancestor Stones was winner of the 2008 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, the Liberaturpreis in Germany, nominated for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and selected by the Washington Post as one of the most important books of 2006. In 2007, Vanity Fair named Aminatta as one of Africa’s most promising new writers. Aminatta has also written for magazines and newspapers, radio and television, and presented television documentaries on Africa’s history and art. She lives in London with her husband.