Literary Prizes, Book Prizes and African Writing

Walter Bgoya

in Media and Identity in Africa

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print April 2009 | ISBN: 9780748635221
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748653010 | DOI:
Literary Prizes, Book Prizes and African Writing

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Literary prizes and book prizes do not feature greatly in discussions about writing and publishing, perhaps because there are so few of them in Africa. When they do, the discussion tends to centre on the questions of who funds the few existing prizes, how the winners are selected, how the prizes are administered and whether or not the administrators of the prizes are located within or outside of Africa. This chapter discusses literary and book prizes in Africa, colonial language policies and the creation of African literature, and literary prizes and the language issue. The fact that South Africa and Nigeria are the African countries with the highest number of literary and book prizes suggests that the more writing there is in a country, the more likely there will also be book prizes to honour it. Literary and book prizes play an important role in promoting writing and scholarship, but it is equally evident that they depend heavily upon universities to offer an excellent education in literature and the sciences; and government and other state institutions for the funding and organisational infrastructure to administer the awards.

Keywords: literary awards; book awards; colonial language policies; African literature

Chapter.  4003 words. 

Subjects: African Studies

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