Chimamanda Adichie and Nnedi Okorafor, Nigerian writers, have been longlisted for a new vote-based alternative to the Nobel Prize in Literature.
The 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature was cancelled as a result of a sexual abuse scandal that rocked the Swedish Academy.
Jean-Claude Arnault, a French cultural figure who is married to a now former member of the Swedish Academy, was accused of sexual exploitation and harassment by 18 women.
Shortly after the scandal broke, Sara Danius, secretary of the academy, announced that she had also been sexually harassed by Arnault.
The incident was followed by a slew of resignations and expulsions from the academy.
Consequently, Alexandra Pascalidou, a Swedish journalist, took it upon herself to create an alternative.
“I just thought, ‘Why do the authors have to pay the price for this mess?'” she told the New York Times.
Pascalidou teamed up with over 100 prominent Swedish cultural figures — actors, novelists and a rapper — to start a new prize for literature.
The new prize is open for the public to vote from a list of 46 nominees selected by Swedish librarians.
The nominee list includes familiar names like JK Rowling, singer Patti Smith, and the British fantasy writer Neil Gaiman.
“What we’d like to see is something new — a Swedish Academy that is contemporary, open to the world, inclusive, transparent,” Pascalidou said.
The winner of the New Academy Prize in Literature will receive one million kronor (around $112,000).
The voting, which closes on August 14, will decide three finalists while librarians will choose a fourth.
A panel made up of a literature professor, two librarians and two literary editors will then choose the winner.
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