in , ,

Sudanese Author Reem Gaafar Wins 2023 Island Prize

Reem Gaafar, a Sudanese novelist, has won the 2023 Island Prize for the manuscript of her debut novel, ‘A Mouth Full of Salt.’

ALSO READ:  Sudan Suffers Total Power Outage Amid Anti-Bashir Protests

Set in a small community in northern Sudan in the late 1970s, ‘A Mouth Full of Salt’ depicts the travails of three women caught in a social system steeped in a very well-defined gender and ethnic hierarchy, yet resisting upheaval from changing times.

The book focuses light on the village’s long-standing gender and ethnic hierarchies. Feeling uneasy about the creeping modernity, the indigenous people adhere to their traditional standards and blame an outsider for the strange incidents that occur in the society.

Aside from Reem Gaafar, the Island Prize recognized two outstanding runners-up: Andile Mashandu Cele from South Africa and Jesudubami Jemima Aganaba from Nigeria.

Mashandu Cele’s ‘Braids and Migraines’ illuminates the injustices and challenges confronting young black people in post-apartheid South Africa, especially the harsh reality of the country’s educational system.

‘Bobo Hamham,’ written by Jesudubami Jemima Aganaba, is about three youngsters from various origins who are subjected to marital violence, poverty, religious fanaticism, and the psychological effects of brainwashing.

The Island Prize, founded by South African novelist Karen Jennings, is a literary award created with the primary goal of assisting African writers in breaking into the UK publishing industry. Unpublished debut novelists from any African country or diaspora are eligible for this prize.

All short-listed works are reviewed by publishers and agents in the UK, the US, and South Africa. The winner receives a cash award of £500, while the runners-up receive £300 and £200 respectively.

In a press statement, judges Karen Jennings, Rachel Edwards, and Hamza Koudri, said, “A Mouth Full of Salt is stylistically simple, insightful, and elegant; sharing truths like all best fiction, it is compelling, has a profound sense of place, and shows brilliance in the ways the destinies weave together.”

Reem Gaafar is a public health physician, author, writer, and researcher. Her other literary works, including short stories, have appeared in numerous anthologies, including RELATIONS: Voices from Africa and the Diaspora (HarperVia); I Know Two Sudans: An Anthology of Creative Writing from Sudan and South Sudan (Gipping Press Ltd); and Agile Government: Emerging Perspectives in Public Management (World Scientific Publishing).

Messi Makes Magical Start To Miami Career With Late Winner On Debut

5 Businesses Owned by Africa’s First Black Billionaire Patrice Motsepe