Bellagio Publishing Network  

 BPN Newsletter Issue No 26-27, November 2000 


African impact - a celebration of Africa's 100 best books

In celebration of African writing, publishing and research the Zimbabwe International Book Fair is inviting nominations for Africa's 100 best books. The final list will be announced and celebrated at ZIBF 2002.

Africa's 100 Best Books project aims to direct the spotlight of the world onto the achievements of African writers and those who have published their works throughout the past century, in order to stimulate the future writing, reading and publishing of African literature, to deepen and broaden the knowledge of Africa's best books, and to celebrate African writing and scholarship.

The project is the most ambitious, high-profile promotion exercise that the African book industry has ever undertaken and will involve a high degree of international and inter-African networking and co-operation. Authors and publishers will reap immeasurable direct benefits from the production and publication of Africa's 100 best books list - in both the short- and long-term.

The list should become a highly respected resource - a widely publicised media issue and an indispensable marketing tool for all those involved in the promotion of African publishing.

The nomination criteria are -
(a) Titles must have been published in the 20th century;
(b) Titles must have been written by an African, defined for the purpose of the project as someone who was either born in Africa or who became a citizen of an African country;
(c) Any individual may make a nomination;
(d) Any individual may make more than one nomination;
(e) Each nomination must be accompanied by a 50-word rationale;
(f) Books can be nominated in three categories - creative writing, scholarship, children;
(g) Nominations will be accepted from any individual anywhere in the world until the close of nominations on 30 September 2001. Such nominations may be submitted by email or fax to ZIBF in Harare and through the regional offices.

By August 2000 some 400 nominations covering 350 titles by 250 authors had already been received from writers, academics, researchers, teachers, professionals in the book trade and interested individuals throughout Africa. A committee of respected African authors, publishers and academics is in place to oversee the project. The final list will be decided by an international panel of jurors working on individual nominations from readers around the world. [BPN no 26–27, 2000, p. 32.]

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