Why Africa is dominating literary prizes in 2021

Senegalese Mohamed Mbougar Sarr, 31, became the first writer from sub-Saharan Africa to win France's top literary award, the Prix Goncourt.

What you need to know:

  • They include Tanzania's Abdulrazak Gurnah becoming a Nobel laureate, South Africa's Damon Galgut winning Britain's Booker Prize and 31-year-old Senegalese Mohamed Mbougar Sarr becoming the first writer from sub-Saharan Africa to win France's top literary award, the Prix Goncourt.
  • African literature had a previous heyday in the 1950s and 1960s, though it was tied up with politics and decolonisation, embodied by figures like Senegal's poet/president Leopold Sedar Senghor. African literature had a previous heyday in the 1950s and 1960s, though it was tied up with politics and decolonisation, embodied by figures like Senegal's poet/president Leopold Sedar Senghor. 

Some of the world's biggest literary awards, including the Nobel, Booker and Goncourt, have gone to Africans this year in a sign of the continent's emergence as a major force in publishing and a region with a direct line to the pressing questions of our time.  
"We are witnessing a reawakening of interest in Africa among the European literary world," said Xavier Garnier, who teaches African literature at the Sorbonne in Paris. 

Welcome!

You're all set to enjoy unlimited Prime content.