Meet Ghanaian author Yaa Gyasi, the only African-born author to make the 2021 Women’s Prize Longlist

Novelist, Yaa Gyasi of Ghanaian-American heritage has made history as the sole African on Women’s Prize 2021 longlist.

Her second published novel ‘Transcendent Kingdom’ which has received raving reviews was announced by the Women’s Prize as part of a longlist of groundbreaking Literature

The annual list saw sixteen female writers from across the world nominated for the grand prize including Yaa who hails from Ghana. The Wome’s Prize will shortlist six authors who will be announced on the 28th of April and subsequently announce the winner in July.

Transcendent Kingdom was released by her publisher in 2020 following her award-winning 2016 debut Homegoing which sold for over a million US dollars.

Transcendent Kingdom’s follows a Ghanaian family in Alabama torn apart by the heartbreaking effects of drug addiction.

READ MORE: The Burial of Kojo and Azali are the first Ghanaian movies to be selected for the Golden Globes and Oscars

According to Okayafrica, this is the Ghanaian author’s first Women’s Prize nomination which also makes her the only African-born author to make the 2021 longlist.

Yaa was born in Mampong to Kwaku Gyasi, a professor of French at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and Sophia, who is a nurse.

She graduated from the University of Standford and her debut novel Homegoing was inspired by a 2009 trip to Ghana, Gyasi’s first since leaving the country as an infant.

The novel was completed in 2015, and after initial readings from publishers, was met with numerous offers before she accepted a seven-figure advance from Knopf

Other notable nominations include, Amanda Craig, a British novelist who was born in South Africa and grew up in Italy before moving to London. Craig is longlisted for The Golden Rule. 

The 2020 Booker Prize shortlist nominee Avni Doshi makes the list for Burnt Sugar and Barbadian Cherie Jones with her novel How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House.

Congratulations Yaa Gyasi, praying and hoping your bring the big prize home.

Check out the full list of authors nominated in the 2021 Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist.

Because of You by Dawn French
Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi
Consent by Annabel Lyon
Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters
Exciting Times by Naoise Dolan
How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House by Cherie Jones
Luster by Raven Leilani
No One is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood
Nothing But Blue Sky by Kathleen MacMahon
Piranesi by Susanna Clarke
Small Pleasures by Clare Chambers
Summer by Ali Smith
The Golden Rule by Amanda Craig
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
Unsettled Ground by Claire Fuller

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