ZIMBABWEAN WRITER WINS 2007 NOMA AWARD FOR BRILLIANT NOVEL
The Noma Award for Publishing in Africa announces that Shimmer Chinodya has won the Noma Award for Publishing in Africa in 2007 for his novel Strife. The book was published in 2006 by Weaver Press, Zimbabwe.
The Jury's citation reads:
"The brilliance of this powerful and haunting story, in notably innovative form, brings a new dimension to African writing. The novelist reverses the traditional relationship between family and nation, concentrating on the social energies in an African family, rather than the individual or the nation. Powerful and haunting, with memorable portraits of individuals, the story is driven by a deep and distinctive sense of the tragic. The novelist's psychological sensitivity illuminates the dominant themes of disease and death; and the constant tension between the pull of the past and the aspiration of modernity is expressed in a prose that makes everything original and new, recasting old themes."
Shimmer Chinodya is a Zimbabwean writer, who has published eight novels, children's books, educational texts, radio and film scripts, and has contributed to numerous anthologies. He has won many awards, including the Commonwealth Writers' Prize (Africa region). He seeks primarily to present an African worldview, but wants his literature to speak to the world as a whole. He describes his works as "experiments on the effects of time and change on humans, and human relationships tangled in the eternal quest for happiness and fulfilment".
The Noma Award, under the auspices of UNESCO, will be presented to Shimmer Chinodya at a special ceremony details of which will be announced later.
107 titles, from 66 African publishers, in 12 countries, in 5 languages, were submitted for the 2007 competition. The Jury singled out a further four titles for Honourable Mention. The list is attached.
The Noma Award Jury is chaired by Walter Bgoya from Tanzania, one of Africa's most distinguished publishers, with wide knowledge of both African and international publishing. The other members of the Jury in 2007 were: Professor Simon Gikandi, Professor of English at Princeton University; Professor Peter Katjavivi, Ambassador of the Republic of Namibia to the Federal Republic of Germany and former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Namibia; and Mary Jay, Secretary to the Managing Committee (the Jury). The Award is sponsored by Kodansha Ltd, Japan.
THE NOMA AWARD FOR PUBLISHING IN AFRICA
27 October 2007