Anietie Isong, an alumnus of the University of Ibadan (UI), has become the first Nigerian to win the McKitterick Prize.

The Nigerian-British writer recieved the 2018 McKitterick Prize for his debut novel, ‘Radio Sunrise’, at the Authors’ Awards ceremony in London, UK.

The McKitterick Prize, administered by the Society of Authors, honours the first novel by a writer aged over 40.

Anietie, who is the brother of Emem Isong, an award-winning Nigerian filmmaker, joins a distinguished line of previous winners including Helen Dunmore, Petina Gappah and Mark Haddon.

“It’s a particular pleasure to discover the original, intriguing voice of Anietie Isong,” said Aamer Hussein, prize judge.

“In his brief, deftly-told Radio Sunrise, the author depicts his often hapless protagonist’s sexual mishaps and political travails on a journey to his hometown with a unique blend of humour and poignance. An intriguing and accomplished new novelist.”

Isong is the first Nigerian to win the prize since it was established in 1990.

“I wrote Radio Sunrise to help draw attention to a myriad of issues in Nigeria, and I am thrilled that this resonated with the judges,” Isong said.

Isong has been invited to speak at the Marlborough Literature Festival in the UK, in September.



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