Derek Owusu, Abi Daré, Okechukwu Nzelu
Cúirt International Festival of Literature.
In partnership with the Desmond Elliott Prize and the National Centre for Writing.
This event showcases the shortlisted writers for the 2020 Desmond Elliott prize for new fiction, featuring some of the most exciting and challenging writing talent from across the UK and Ireland.
Crossing all manner of borders and boundaries, these three exceptional debuts explore the meaning of home, belonging, and the growing pains of selfhood. Okechukwu Nzelu’s The Private Joys of Nnenna Maloney follows a young woman’s life and relationships through her Igbo–Nigerian family, and the misadventures of her extended social circle. Derek Owusu’s fragmentary That Reminds Me centres around K, the son of Ghanaian parents in London, from birth to adulthood, encompassing K’s encounters with self-expression, friendship and belonging, in the midst of a society actively hostile to a Black working-class family. Abi Daré’s The Girl with the Louding Voice is the story of Adunni, a young girl in rural Nigeria on the brink of an illegal marriage arranged to raise money for her widower father. The novel tracks Adunni’s overwhelmingly rich inner life, as she searches for the kind of education that will meet her demands from the world.
Derek Owusu is a writer, poet and podcaster from North London. He edited and contributed to Safe: On Black British Men Reclaiming Space, and his first novel, That Reminds Me, was published in 2020. This went on to win the Desmond Elliott Prize for new fiction.
Abi Daré is a writer based in Essex, but originally from Lagos, Nigeria. The Girl with the Louding Voice, her first novel, won The Bath Novel Award for unpublished manuscripts in 2018 and was an instant New York Times Bestseller upon publication.
Okechukwu Nzelu is a writer and teacher. His debut novel, The Private Joys of Nnenna Maloney, won a Betty Trask Award and was shortlisted for the Betty Trask Prize, the Desmond Elliott Prize, and the Polari First Book Prize.
This event is moderated by 2020 Desmond Elliott Prize judge, broadcaster and journalist, Sonia Sodha.