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Congolese novel wins Nigeria's Etisalat Prize for literature

A WAY WITH WORDS: Fiston Mwanza Mujila (third left) has won Nigeria’s prestigious Etisalat Prize for Literature 2015

LESS THAN a fortnight since Tram 83 by Fiston Mwanza Mujila was longlisted for the Man Booker International Prize 2016, the Congolese author has won Nigeria’s prestigious Etisalat Prize for Literature 2015.

The Etisalat Prize for Literature is the first ever pan-African prize celebrating first time writers of published fiction books.

The award was announced at an elegant celebration in Lagos on Saturday night (Mar 19), with attendees from Nigeria's literary circle including Aké festival director Lola Shoneyin.

Mujila was presented with a £15,000 cheque, an engraved Montblanc Meisterstück and an Iphone 6S. He will also have the opportunity to attend the Etisalat Fellowship, worth £13,000, at the prestigious University of East Anglia, United Kingdom, under the mentorship of Professor Giles Foden.

Tram 83 was originally published in French by Éditions Métailié, with the English translation published by Jacaranda Books in the UK & Ireland, and Deep Vellum in the USA. It has received multiple awards and accolades since its first publication, including the PEN Translates Award 2015, French Voices Award 2014 and the Grand Prix SGDL du Premier Roman 2014.

Tram 83 by Fiston Mwanza Mujila
Tourists of all languages and nationalities arrive in an African city in secession. They have only one desire: to make a fortune by exploiting the mineral wealth of the country. They work during the day in mining concession and, as soon as night falls, they go out to get drunk, dance, eat and abandon themselves in Tram 83, the only nightclub of the city, the den of all the outlaws. Lucien, a professional writer, fleeing the exactions and the censorship, finds refuge in the city thanks to Requiem, a friend. Requiem lives mainly on theft and on swindle while Lucien only thinks of writing and living honestly.

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