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Big one for Nigeria as Anietie Isong wins McKitterick Prize

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Nigerian-British writer, Anietie Isong has been named winner of the 2018 McKItterick Prize for his debut novel, Radio Sunrise.

Anietie received the prize from broadcaster and actor, Stephen Fry at the Authors’ Awards ceremony held in London, on July 19.

The ceremony took place at the Royal Institute of British Architects and saw over 400 guests from across the publishing industry come together, as the winners of other prizes administered by Society of Authors were revealed.

Prize judge Aamer Hussein, short story writer and Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature said: “It’s a particular pleasure to discover the original, intriguing voice of Anietie Isong. 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.”

Anietie, who is the brother of Emem Isong, the award-winning Nigerian filmmaker, says he is excited to be named winner of the prize. “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,” he says.

The McKitterick Prize, administered by the Society of Authors, honours the first novel by a writer aged over 40. Anietie, the first Nigerian to win the prize since it was established in 1990, joins an illustrious line of previous award winners including Helen Dunmore, Petina Gappah and Mark Haddon.

Apart from receiving the prize money, Anietie has been invited to speak at the Marlborough Literature Festival in the UK, in September.

Anietie has worked as a journalist, speechwriter and communications manager in Nigeria and the UK. He holds a PhD in New Media and Writing.

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