Author, Researcher, Peace & Conflict Professional


  • 2016/2017 apexart New York City (NYC) Fellow
  • 2014 Winner Burt Award for African Literature, Kenya Chapter
  • 2010 Penguin Prize for African Writing nominee
  • Ist Prize, Adult Fiction Category – NBDCK  Literary Awards, September 2008 Book Week

Chigozie Obioma

Nigerian author Chigozie Obioma’s debut novel The Fishermen has yet again bagged another prestigious award! This time around it is the Los Angeles Times Book Prize: The Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction.

In their 36th year, the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes are awarded in nine categories: biography, current interest, fiction, first fiction, history, mystery/thriller, poetry, science and technology, and young adult fiction. The Book Prize program was founded by Art Seidenbaum, a Los Angeles Times book editor from 1978 to 1985. An award named for him was added a year after his death in 1990. Works are eligible during the year of their first US publication in English, and may be written originally in languages other than English. The author of each winning book and the Kirsch Award recipient receives a citation and $1,000. The prizes are presented the day before the annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books.


In addition, the Robert Kirsch Award is presented annually to a living author with a substantial connection to the American West, whose contribution to American letters deserves special recognition. It is named in honour of Robert Kirsch, the Los Angeles Times book critic from 1952 until his death in 1980.


Other African authors who have won the Art Seidenbaum Award previously include Ethiopian-American novelist Dinaw Mengestu, who won in 2007 for The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears: Nigerian author Uzodinma Iweala, who won in 2005 for Beasts of No Nation recently adapted into a movie by the same title starring Idris Elba:  and the late Mark Behr, who won in 1996 for The Smell of Apples. Most recently, Zimbabwean author NoViolet Bulawayo won for her novel We Need New Names.


Obioma’s novel has been doing well and won the inaugural FT/Oppenheimer Emerging Voices Award – Fiction Category and a NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work, debut category. The book was also long-listed for the 2016 International Dylan Thomas Prize and the Etisaslat Prize for Literature. It was also short-listed for the Guardian First Book Award and the Man Booker Prize.


More here: Click here for the full list of 2016 Los Angeles Times Book Prize winners


Author image courtesy Pontas Agency

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