After a protracted process of adjudication, the Adjudication Panel of the South African Literary Awards have picked 19 finalists out of 123 authors who submitted their books for the 9th edition of the popular SALA Awards, across all the official languages in South Africa.
“We are delighted at the growth of these prestigious South African Literary Awards”, said Prof Zodwa Motsa, Chairperson of the South African Literary Awards Advisory Board.
The 2014 South African Writers Literary Awards winners, including the recipient of the Chairperson Award, will be announced at the ninth annual SALA Awards Gala Dinner at the state-of-the-art National Library of South Africa, Tshwane, on Friday, 7 November 2014.
Following are the SALA 2014 finalists per category:
- Poetry Award
Themba Patrick Magaisa (Mihloti Ya Tingana); Khulile Nxumalo (Fedzi); Kobus Moolman (Left Over); Thandi Sliepen (The Turtle Dove Told Me).
- Nadine Gordimer Short Story Award
Gary Cummiskey (Off-ramp); Makhosazana Xaba (Running and other stories), Reneilwe Malatji (Love Interrupted); Liesl Jobson (Ride The Tortoise)
- k.Sello Duiker Memorial Literary Award (For Young Writers)
Marli Roode (Call it dog); Jason Staggie (Risk); Jamala Safari (The Great Agony and Pure Laughter of the Gods)
- Creative Non-Fiction Award
Sihle Khumalo (Almost Sleeping My Way to Timbuktu); Toni Strasburg (Fractured Lives)
- First-time Published Author Award
Claire Robertson (The Spiral House); Carol-Ann Davids (The Blacks of Cape Town); James Siddall (Dystopia)
- Lifetime Achievement Literary Award
Nuruddin Farah (His oeuvre); Njabulo Ndebele (His oeuvre)
- Literary Translators Award
Nhlanhla Maake (Malefane)
The awards ceremony will be presided by the Africa Century International African Writers Conference programme comprising “the International African Writers Day Lecture” to be delivered by Dr Samia Nkrumah, executive director of Kwame Nkrumah Foundation and Ghana’s first Chairwoman of the Convention People’s Party.
Scheduled to take place on the same day as the awards, at the same venue, the conference will run from 8H00 to 16H00. The theme for the 2014 conference is “ Governance In Africa:Her Prospects & Retrospects – How the Past Speaks to the Future” .
The conference continues to attract tremendous interest from authors, literary scholars and historians as well as the public, with the keynote address, added Mr Mr Seakhoa, the Project Director of the SALA and the Africa Century International African Writers Conference.
Since its establishment in 2005, SALA has recognised131 South African writers in 10 different categories. These awards have grown in stature to become one of the most eagerly anticipated events in the South African literary calendar.
Motsa said it was significant that the awards were taking place during the 20th anniversary of South Africa’s democracy and at the culmination of celebrations to mark fifty years since the formation of the Organisation of African Unity, now known as the African Union (AU).
“The celebration and recognition of the contribution made by writers is vital in enhancing our nation building and social cohesion imperatives. Congratulations to all the nominees and recipients of the SALA Awards”, Motsa concluded.