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Tsitsi Dangarembga makes the Booker Prize longlist for her novel 'This Mournable Body.'

Tsitsi Dangarembga and Maaza Mengiste Make 2020 Booker Prize Longlist

Zimbabwean literary giant Tsitsi Dangarembga and Ethiopian-born Maaza Mengiste appear in the latest Booker Prize longlist.

Zimbabe's Tsitsi Dangarembga has once again gained international prominence through her third novel This Mournable Body. The announcement of the annually anticipated Booker Prize Longlist recognises the third book from Dangarembga as an auspicious body of work worthy to be on the list. Ethopian-American Maaza Mengiste's The Shadow King is another historic African selection for the reputable prize.

Originally only for commonwealth countries, The Booker Prize is an international literary award institution that financially rewards orignal English literary submissions from around the world.


In 51 years of The Booker Prize, African authors have been nominated over 40 times but these nominations have been controversially dominated by European African authors. Nigerian authors, Ben Okri and Bernardine Evaristo are recorded recipients of the prize.

Read: Outrage as the BBC Refers to Joint Booker Prize Winner Bernardine Evaristo as 'Another Author'

This Mournable Body picks up from Dangarembga's seminal work, Nervous Conditions. This Mournable Body is a somber outlook on life in Harare for Black female protagonist Tambu (the protagonist of Nervous Conditions) 30 years later. The latest narrative was well-received as it reflected the volatile political landscape in Zimbabwe and maintained Tambu's aspirational resilience.

Maaza Mengiste joins the literary trail of Black African women with The Shadow King, a novel that revisits the Italian-Ethopian war under Mussolini's reign. Much like Dangarembga, Mengiste highlights the wars unseen, the wars that women have to face in political upheaval and the unfair resilience required of them.

Tsitsi Dangarembga and Maaza Mengiste are the only two writers from Africa in the list of 13 authors. Winning authors from this year will receive 50,000 pounds.

The Booker Prize longlist 2020:

Diane Cook (US) for The New Wilderness (Oneworld)

Tsitsi Dangarembga (Zimbabwe) for This Mournable Body (Faber & Faber)

Avni Doshi (US) for Burnt Sugar (Hamish Hamilton)

Gabriel Krauze (UK) for Who They Was (4th Estate)

Hilary Mantel (UK) for The Mirror & the Light (4th Estate)

Colum McCann (Ireland/US) for Apeirogon (Bloomsbury)

Maaza Mengiste (Ethiopia/US) for The Shadow King (Canongate)

Kiley Reid (US) for Such a Fun Age (Bloomsbury Circus)

Brandon Taylor (US) for Real Life (Originals, Daunt Books)

Anne Tyler (US) for Redhead by the Side of the Road (Chatto & Windus)

Douglas Stuart (Scotland/US) for Shuggie Bain (Picador)

Sophie Ward (UK) for Love and Other Thought Experiments (Corsair)

C Pam Zhang (US) for How Much of These Hills Is Gold (Virago)

News Brief
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Here's What You Need To Know About The Political Unrest In Sudan

Thousands have been protesting the Sudanese government over the weekend, supporting the military's plans for a coup.

Sudan's transitional government is in turmoil as thousands of citizens conducted a sit-in protest against them, over the weekend. A group of Sudanese citizens have called on the military to disestablish the nation's current government, as the country struggles with the greatest crisis they've seen since the end of former dictator Omar al-Bashir's controversial ruling, two years ago. The weekend's pro-military protests come as anti-military protestors took to the streets earlier this month to fight for civilian-ruled laws.

Military-aligned demonstrators assembled outside of the famously off-limits entrance of the Presidential Palace located in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum on Monday. Gatherers set up tents, blocking off access to two main intersections, cutting off access to the capital for those inside. Police attempted to wave off crowds with teargas, with Khartoum state officials saying they had, "repelled an attempted assault on the seat of government," in a statement issued Monday.

The assembly was called for by a coalition of rebel groups and political parties that support Sudan's military, accusing the civilian political parties of mismanagement and monopolizing power under their ruling. Demonstrations began on Saturday, but Sunday's gathering saw a lower attendance. According to Reuters, by Monday afternoon, thousands, between 2,000 - 3,000, had returned to voice their concerns. 52-year-old tribal elder Tahar Fadl al-Mawla spoke at the helm of the sit-in outside of the Presidential palace saying, "The civilian government has failed. We want a government of soldiers to protect the transition." Alongside a 65-year-old Ahman Jumaa who claimed to have traveled more than 900 kilometers (570 miles) from Southern region Nyala to show his support.

Protesters are demanding the appointment of a new cabinet that is "more representative of the people who participated in the December 2019 revolution that eventually led to the ousting of former president Omar al-Bashir", Al Jazeera reported from Sudan. Protesters headed towards the Presidential Palace, where an emergency cabinet meeting was being held when they were met by police forces.

Pro-civilian political parties have plans for their own demonstration on Thursday, the anniversary of the 1964 revolution that overthrew Sudan's first military regime under Ibrahim Abboud and brought in a period of democracy that the country still struggles to uphold.


Sudanese Twitter users shared their thoughts online, with many drawing similarities between the current unrest and other political crises the nation has faced.


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