Following the successful launch of Bogotá39, which identified many of the most interesting upcoming Latin American talents, including Daniel Alarcon, Junot Diaz (Pulitzer Prize), Santiago Roncagliolo (Independent Foreign Fiction Prize) and Juan Gabriel Vásquez (short-listed for the IFFP), and Beirut39 which published Randa Jarrar, Rabee Jaber, Joumana Haddad, Abdellah Taia and Samar Yazbek, Africa39 will bring to worldwide attention the best work from Africa and its diaspora. The judges will select from up to 200 submissions researched by Binyavanga Wainaina, the founding editor of the acclaimed Nairobi-based literary magazine Kwani?, and the writers' names will be unveiled in Port Harcourt and at the London Book Fair in April 2014. Africa39 will be published in English throughout the world by Bloomsbury.
Africa39 is a Hay Festival and Rainbow Book Club project which aims to select and celebrate 39 of the best young African writers from south of the Sahara. It will be launched at the PH Book Festival in UNESCO's World Book Capital, Port Harcourt, Nigeria, in October 2014.
The three judges are:
Margaret Busby (UK – publisher, broadcaster and reviewer, chair of the Commonwealth Prize and editor of the anthology Daughters of Africa)
Elechi Amadi (Nigeria – author of plays, memoir and novels, including The Slave, Estrangement and The Woman of Calabar)
Osonye Tess Onwueme (Nigeria/USA – playwright, poet and scholar, whose works include Riot in Heaven and What Mama Said)