2021 Winners Of Prestigious Prizes In Literature

The year 2021 was a great one in the literary world. It witnessed the emergence of new, incredible writers, and the recognition of talented pens.

*While the prizes included longlists and shortlists, only the final awardees have been listed in this article.

The following prizes were awarded the deserving authors:




2021 winners literature prizes
Tanzanian novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah, winner of the 2021 Nobel Prize for Literature, poses at his home in Canterbury, Britain, October 7, 2021. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

The Nobel Prize For Literature – Abdulrazak Gurnah

The most prestigious international literary award, went to Tanzanian author and Emeritus Professor of English and Post colonial literature at the University of Kent, Abdulrazak Gurnah.
His works include, Paradise, Desertion and By The Sea, which have been longlisted and shortlisted for the Booker Prize, among others.
He got the prize “for his uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism, and the fates of the refugee in the gulf between cultures and continents.”
He’s also the first black African writer to win the award, 35 years after Wole Soyinka in 1986.





2021 winners literature prizes
Image Credit: Author

The Booker Prize – Damon Galgut

After getting shortlisted twice for the Booker Prize, South African author, Damon Galgut’s novel, “The Promise” won the 2021 Booker Prize.
A well-written and captivating story of an unfulfilled promise made to a housemaid.
He’s the third South African to win the prize since its inception in 1969, the first two being Nadine Gordimer in 1974 and JM Coetzee, who won twice, in 1983 and 1999.





2021 winners literature prizes
                                         Image Credit: Author

AKO Caine Prize For African Writing – Meron Hadero

“The Street Sweep”, a captivating short story of an Ethiopian boy at a crossroads, written by Ethiopian-American writer, Meron Hadero, bagged the Caine Prize.
Hadero is the first Ethiopian writer to win the prize, since its inception in 2000.



READ ALSO: Why Is Maya Angelou Depicted On A Quarter Dollar?



2021 winners literature prizes
Image Credit: Author

Commonwealth Short Story Prize – Kanya D’Almeida

Set in a Sri Lankan “sanctuary for the forsaken”, this surprising tale about the world of domestic labour and dirty work, titled, “I cleaned the-” was named winner of the Commonwealth short story prize in 2021.





2021 winners literature prizes
Image Credit: Publishers Weekly

PEN/Faulkner Award For Fiction – Deesha Philyaw

Deesha Philyaw’s novel, “The secret lives of church ladies” bags the PEN/Faulkner Award. It was also a finalist for the 2020 National Book Award For Fiction, The Story Prize, and Los Angeles Times Book Prize.
An unconventional collection of nine stories exploring black women, church, and sexuality.





2021 winners literature prizes
Image Credit: DC Books

Pulitzer Prize For Fiction – Louise Erdich

Louise Erdich’s “The Night Watchman”, based on the true life story of her grandfather, who worked as a night watchman in a 1950s Native America, won the prestigious Pulitzer Prize For Fiction.






2021 winners literature prizes
Image Credit: Vox

Women’s Prize For Fiction – Susanna Clarke

British author, Sussana Clarke, returned in 2020 with a fantasy novel titled, “Piranesi”, after sixteen years.
The story about the eponymous character bagged the £30,000 2021 women prize.






2021 winners literature prizes
Image Credit: The Indian Express

T.S Elliot Poetry Prize – Bhanu Kapil

Kapil’s poetry collection, “How to wash a heart”, won the most valuable award in British poetry, named after the renowned 20th century American-British poet, T.S Elliot.







2021 winners literature prizes
Image Credit: The Johannesburg Review Of Books

Short Story Day Africa – Idya Luhumyo

The inaugural recipient of the Margaret Busby’s New Daughters of Africa Award, Idya Luhumyo, bagged the SSDA award with her short story, “Five Years Next Sunday”.
She’s the second Kenyan to win it, after Okari Odour in 2003. Her works have appeared in a plethora of magazines and shortlists.





2021 winners literature prizes
Image Credit: CBC

Nigerian Prize For Literature – Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia

Nigerian-Canadian author and Professor of Law, Babcock University, Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia, bagged the prestigious NNLG $100,000 award with her debut novel, “The Son of The House”.
A story of two Nigerian women of different classes, who meet in an unlikely situation of kidnap.
The book has also won the 2019 Best International Fiction Book at the Shajah International Book Fair, the 2021 SpriNG Women authors prize, and was also nominated for the 2021 Giller Prize.







A big congratulations to them all!

About The Author

Share via
Copy link