A Nigerian writer, Adorah Nworah, has made the 2019 Commonwealth Short Story Prize shortlist.
Nworah’s entry, ‘The Bride’, makes the shortlist which was chosen from 5081 entries from 50 Commonwealth countries, and includes two translations into English; one from Greek and the other from Malay.
According to a statement released on the Commonwealth Writers’ website, Caryl Phillips, British novelist, playwright and essayist who served as Chair of the Judges said:
‘The vitality and importance of the short story form is abundantly clear in this impressive shortlist of stories from around the world. These authors have dared to imagine into the lives of an amazingly wide range of characters and their stories explore situations that are both regional and universal.
Almost as impressive as the number of entrants and the quality of the shortlist, is the amount of work that the panel of judges have invested in this process. They have read carefully, debated with great sensitivity, and been mindful of cultural traditions as they have collectively reached their decision.
Compared to many literary prizes, the Commonwealth Short Story Prize is still young. However, with each passing year the prize gains importance within the literary world. It offers a unique opportunity to read and think across borders, and to connect imaginations from around the globe. It has been a great honour to be a part of the judging of the 2019 prize.’
‘The Bride’ depicts a Nigerian bride who panics when a stranger poses as her groom. Her loved ones, however, insist that the wedding must go on, and it does.
Her other short story, Broken English, was long-listed for the 2018 Short Story Day Africa prize.
A storyteller from Eastern Nigeria, Nworah earned her juris doctorate from Temple Law School in 2018, and currently practises commercial real estate finance law in Philadelphia.
She has been honoured with some awards; such as the ‘Order of the Coif’ (2018) by Temple University; the Nat N. Wolfsohn Memorial Award in Real Property (2018) – awarded to the student who earned outstanding grades in the field of real property law; and the Sender and Janina Szwalbenest Memorial Award (2018) – an award given to a graduate who is an immigrant or the child of immigrants to the United States and who rendered outstanding service to the law school community.
The shortlist also includes: ‘Nightfall’, Emma Ashmere (Australia); ‘A Hurricane and the Price of Fish’, Shakirah Bourne (Barbados); ‘Resurrection’, Hilary Dean (Canada); ‘Miss Coelho, English Teacher’, Kiran Doshi (India); ‘The Night of Hungry Ghosts’, Sarah Evans (UK); ‘The Ol’ Higue on Market Street’, Kevin Garbaran (Guyana); ‘Madam’s Sister’, Mbozi Haimbe (Zambia); ‘Pengap’, Lokman Hakim (Malaysia), translated by Adriana Nordin Manan; ‘Screaming’, Harley Hern (New Zealand); ‘Oats’, Rashad Hosein (Trinidad and Tobago).
Others on the shortlist are: ‘Deserted’, Erato Ioannou (Cyprus); ‘Amid the Winds and Snow’, Tyler Keevil (Canada); ‘Extinction’, Alex Latimer (South Africa); ‘My Mother Pattu’, Saras Manickam (Malaysia); ‘The Blessing of Kali’, Irene Muchemi-Ndiritu (Kenya); ‘Love-life’, Nuzha Nuseibeh (UK); ‘Bluey’, Maria Samuela (New Zealand); ‘Death Customs’, Constantia Soteriou (Cyprus), translated by Lina Protopapa; ‘How to Marry an African President’, Erica Sugo Anyadike (Tanzania); and ‘Granma’s Porch’, Alexia Tolas (The Bahamas).
Now in its eighth year, the Commonwealth Short Story Prize is awarded annually for the best piece of unpublished short fiction from the Commonwealth.