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Jennifer N. Makumbi Shortlisted for the Jhalak Prize
Jhalak Prize

Jennifer N. Makumbi Shortlisted for the Jhalak Prize


The Jhalak Prize 2021 has just announced that Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi has been shortlisted for her novel The First Woman.

The press release states that ‘[s]ix books were selected for each Prize with poetry, memoir, young adult fiction and picture books represented in fearless explorations of character and self, using history, folklore, Covid-19, mental health and sexuality as inspiration. Each of the shortlist titles was praised for “courageously shining a light on aspects of human experience that often remain hidden.”

The Jhalak Book of the Year by a Writer of Colour 2021 Shortlist is:

  1. Antiemetic for Homesickness, Romalyn Ante (Chatto Poetry)
  2. Inferno, Catherine Cho (Bloomsbury Circus)
  3. My Darling From the Lions, Rachel Long (Picador Poetry)
  4. The First Woman, Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi (Oneworld)
  5. Are We Home Yet, Katy Massey (Jacaranda)
  6. Rainbow Milk, Paul Mendez (Dialogue)

The Jhalak Childrens & Young Adult Prize 2021 Shortlist is:

  • The GA Picture Alphabet, Nii Ayikwei Parkes & Avril Filomeno (Self-published)
  • When Life Gives You Mangoes, Kereen Getten (Pushkin Press)
  • And the Stars Were Burning Brightly, Danielle Jawando (Simon & Schuster)
  • Queen of Freedom, Catherine Johnson (Pushkin Press)
  • Eight Pieces of Silva, Patrice Lawrence (Hachette Children’s)
  • A Fox Called Herbert, Margaret Sturton (Andersen Press)

In a new initiative supported by National Book Tokens, bookshops up and down the country will be supporting the Jhalak Prize shortlisted titles, with creative in-store displays, and promotion across websites and social media. In addition to online support from Waterstones, Foyles and, plus in-store support from several Blackwell’s branches and 100 independents, 12 independent bookshops will serve as Jhalak Prize Bookshop Champions.

 The winners will be announced at a virtual event in partnership with the British Library at 5.00pm on 25 May 2021 with each winner awarded £1,000 and a specially created work of art.’

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