The Jhalak Prize: Book of the Year by a Writer of Colour
The Jhalak Prize and the newly launched Jhalak Children's & YA Prize seek to support and celebrate books by British and British resident writers of colour.
Founded by writers Sunny Singh and Nikesh Shukla, this year the Jhalak Prize is five years old and will be celebrating the writers on its lists across social media, using #JhalakPrizeat5.
Previous winners include Johny Pitts for his exploration of African-European identity Afropean, Guy Gunaratne for his novel In Our Mad and Furious City, and Reni Eddo-Lodge for her hugely influential Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race.
This year's shortlists were announced on Tuesday 13th April, and the winners were announced at a virtual ceremony on 25th May in conjunction with The British Library.
At National Book Tokens, we're thrilled to be partnering with the Jhalak Prize to help them increase awareness of the prize titles amongst booksellers, who have always been the best champions of books in their local communities. This year we distributed point of sale kits and social media assets to nigh on 100 bookshops so they could create instore displays and shout about the longlists and shortlists from their online channels.
The winners of the Jhalak Prize and Jhalak Children's & YA Prize have been announced!
Of the two winners, prize cofounder Sunny Singh said, "The 2021 Jhalak judges have picked two books that are towering literary achievements, full of authorly courage, stylistic panache and great heart. Patrice Lawrence’s Eight Pieces of Silva and Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi’s The First Woman are very different books in terms of readers they address, the styles they develop and themes they explore but they both confront terrible realities, ask painful questions and experiment playfully with form, style and language. Most of all, they both find strength, compassion and resilience in places and times where these seem entirely impossible. In their complex, nuanced explorations of the human experience, Lawrence and Makumbi both find hope, joy and reasons to cherish and celebrate our shared humanity."
In honour of each prize winner, two Jhalak Artists in Residence have created bespoke artwork inspired by the winning titles. You can see the artwork below and read more here.