South African-based novelist Yewande Omotoso says she is honoured that her novel "The Woman Next Door" – published by Penguin Random House UK –has been selected as one of 10 shortlisted titles for the Dublin Literary Award 2018.
Speaking to HuffPost, Omotoso described the shortlisting as encouragement for her to continue working harder.
"It is encouraging and heartwarming to be longlisted and shortlisted for such awards. Of course I would do a few cartwheels if I win," she said.
#Books2018— Jaydon Farao (@The_1Wanderer) January 18, 2018
1. The Woman Next Door by Yewande Omotoso @yomotoso
(A brief encounter with Yewande changed my perspective of my future. This book has made her words to me that more meaningful.) pic.twitter.com/maQWnMulJA
When asked whether she was working on another book, she said that although she cannot reveal much about it, there is a book that she is working on.
"Yes sure; one is forever working. I am still working on it – I have sort of completed a manuscript, and it's in that stage of the process, but I don't know how long it will take before it will be on the shelf, but I am working away always," she said.
Omotoso was born in Barbados in 1980 and grew up in Nigeria with her Barbadian mother, Nigerian father and two older brothers. Her family moved to South Africa in 1992.
She studied architecture at the University of Cape Town, worked as an architect for several years, and went on to complete a Masters degree in creative writing.
So honored to be included here. Also to give the biggest shout out to those life rafts called libraries and the people that work them, that really feels like the best part. And a special shout out to the City of Cape Town Library and Information Services for the nomination. https://t.co/R4k2UYcPYp— Yewande Omotoso (@yomotoso) April 5, 2018
The Dublin Literary Award is a prestigious accolade cited as "the world's most valuable annual literary prize for a single work of fiction published in English". Books are nominated for the award by public libraries throughout the world;
The South African titles were nominated by Cape Town Library and Information Services.
Omotoso's debut novel was titled "Bom Boy", published in 2011, which scored her a nomination for the South African Sunday Times Fiction Prize in 2012. Before publishing "Bom Boy", she authored several stories, including "Lebalaba", published in online magazine Konch in 1998.
She is also a poet whose poetry has been included in the 2009 Baobab Literary Journal.
The International Dublin Literary Award comes with a prize of €100,000 [~R1.5-million]. If the book has been translated, the author receives €75,000 [~R1,125,000], and the translator €25,000 [~R375,000].
The award was launched in April 1995, and is now in its 23rd year.
Lots of fans were excited for the mbokodo✊
Go Yewande! So proud of you. I can't wait to read it.— Dzodzi Tsikata (@DzodziTsikata) April 8, 2018
Congrats! Great news and well deserved.— Irenosen Okojie (@IrenosenOkojie) April 6, 2018
Congratulations Yewande! I was delighted to come across your picture as I was reading The Irish Times! (This is Rodney's wife, btw).— AineDuffy (@AineDuffy) April 5, 2018
No one deserves it more. Well done— Phehello J Mofokeng (@MrPublisherSA) April 5, 2018