“Damnificados” named finalist for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award

I’m thrilled to say … well, you’ve probably read the title of this blog post already. Here’s why I’m thrilled:

“The Hurston/Wright Legacy Award recognizes the best books by Black writers from the United States and abroad, chosen in a juried competition by previous Legacy Award honorees. The Legacy Award was the first national award presented to Black authors by a national organization of Black writers. Each year, the awards ceremony draws an enthusiastic crowd of writers, publishers, readers and arts patrons. In addition to the Legacy Award announcements that evening, 2017 career achievement awards will be presented to Librarian of Congress Dr. Carla Hayden, Congressman and author John Lewis, and poet and publisher Haki Madhubuti.”

“All nominees in debut fiction, fiction, nonfiction, and poetry will be honored — and the winners and finalists will be announced — during the 16th Annual Legacy Awards Ceremony on Friday, October 20th, in Washington, D.C.”

So it’s going to be like the Oscars: the tension, the glamor, the speeches, the weeping … Actually, I want to congratulate my fellow nominees in the Debut Fiction category: A. Igoni Barrett for Blackass, and Elnathan John for Born on a Tuesday. I haven’t read their books yet, but I’m looking forward to doing so. Both of these authors are Nigerian, and I’m half, so it’s a bit of a coup for Nigerian lit. The list of nominations for the fiction category is star-studded – Zadie Smith, Colson Whitehead, Jacqueline Woodson et al – and I’m sure the ceremony will be a great occasion. Gotta find me a tuxedo from somewhere.

Richard Wright


Zora Neale Hurston

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