Abubakar Adam Ibrahim has been announced as this year’s winner of the NLNG Prize for Literature for his book, ‘Season of Crimson Blossoms.’
He fought off stiff competition from Elnathan John for ‘Born on a Tuesday’ and Chika Unigwe for ‘Night Dancer’ to win a cash prize of $100,000 (about N46 million). Founded in 2004, the 2016 edition received a total of 173 entries.
Speaking at the press conference held in Lagos, Ayo Banjo, chairman of the advisory board, said, “It was a strong field this year. The shortlisted entries were very strong and the board had no difficulty in accepting the recommendation of the panel of judges, considering the subject matter and competent manner in which Ibrahim demonstrated the execution of his work.”
“It has been a very rigorous process and we are very happy that at the end of the day, both the international consultant and the panel of judges came to an alignment,” said Kudo Eresia-Eke, general manager, external relations at Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG).
“We are very proud of the quality of entries received. Let me reiterate very clearly that we will continue to support integrity and excellence, which are some of the pillars on which we have built NLNG’s success as a company.”
Here is an excerpt from the book:
Two nights later, when he was tossing and turning on the bed next to her, she knew he would nudge her with his knee and she would have to throw her legs open. He would lift her wrapper, spit into her crotch and mount her. His calloused fingers would dig into the mounds on her chest and he would bite his lower lip to prevent any moan escaping. She would count slowly under her breath, her eyes closed, of course. And somewhere between sixty and seventy – always between sixty and seventy – he would grunt, empty himself and roll off her until he was ready to go again. Zubairu was a practical man and fancied their intimacy as an exercise in conjugal frugality. It was something to be dispensed with promptly, without silly ceremonies.
She wanted it to be different. She had always wanted it to be different. And so when he nudged her that night, instead of rolling on to her back and throwing her legs apart, she rolled into him and reached for his groin. He instinctively moaned when she caressed his hardness and they both feared their first son, lying on a mattress across the room, would stir.
‘What the hell are you doing?’ The words, half-barked, half-whispered, struck her like a blow. He pinned her down and, without further rituals, lifted her wrapper. She turned her face to the wall and started counting. The tears slipped down the side of her closed eyes before she got to twenty.
The Nigeria Prize for Literature rotates yearly among four literary genres: prose fiction, poetry, drama and children’s literature. Next year’s prize will be for poetry.