UPDATE: Chigozie Obioma’s The Fishermen earns the inaugural FT/Oppenheimer Award. Obioma’s debut has been steadily scooping up accolades. The Fishermen is also shortlisted for the 2015 Man Booker Prize and the 2015 Center for Fiction Prize, and was named a New York Times Editor’s Choice. The prize purse is $40,000.
UPDATE: The shortlisted authors are:
Last year, the Financial Times and Oppenheimer Funds announced a joint venture to award three emerging voices–one in literature, one in film, and one in fine art–$40,000 each. The award has unusual stipulations. Writers qualified to submit had to hold a passport from an African or Middle Eastern nation, while filmmakers had to be from Asia-Pacific, and fine artists from Latin America or the Caribbean. Most awards of this kind rally behind one region or identity group, so It’s not clear why they chose to recognize different regions in the different categories, though the announcement intimated it was inspired by “a remarkable structural shift in the world, propelled by economic progress in the developing markets and the advanced reach of the Internet”. Whatever the case, the longlists have been announced and the 10 fiction contenders mostly represent Africa, with only one finalist from Lebanon. Five are debut novelists. 140 writers submitted their works for consideration. Also unusual, the awards site posted a full list of the entrants. The winner will be announced on October 5th at a ceremony in New York.
The longlisted authors are: