Jhalak Prize shortlists Alabanza, Hui, Joseph, others


Angela Hui

The Jhalak Prize, an annual literary prize for British or UK-based writers of colour established in 2016, has announced Travis Alabanza, Angela Hui and Paterson Joseph among the authors on its shortlist this year.

The prize worth £1,000 to the winner also shortlisted Lucy Farfort, Danielle Jawando and Ann Sei Lin for the Jhalak Children’s & Young Adult Prize. 

According to reports, independent publishers have released many of the titles selected for this year’s shortlists.

Six books, according to Cardiff News, are selected for each award, and this year the lists span a wide range of genres, including fiction, memoir, poetry and illustrated picture books and young adult fiction.

The shortlisted titles, the outlet adds, explore themes such as identity, the impact of violence, social media and toxic relationships, and “explore a kaleidoscope of issues through inventive narratives.”

Alabanza was shortlisted for None of the above (Canongate), Hui for Bring away (Trapeze), Joseph for The Secret Diaries of Charles Ignatius Sancho (Dialogue), while Farfort was shortlisted for the 2023 Jhalak Children’s & Young Adult Prize for In our hands (Tate) showing “we are never too small to make a difference”.

The two winners will be announced at the British Library on Thursday 25th May 2023. Each winner will receive £1,000 and a specially created artwork as part of the ongoing Jhalak Art Residency. This year’s artists are Sharon Adebisi and Diane Ewen.

The Jhalak Prize is a partner of the London Library for the second year. All shortlisted authors will receive complimentary one-year membership in the library and will be invited to an event on May 18th where the shortlisted authors will be featured.

Commenting on the 2023 shortlists, Awards Director Sunny Singh said: “The Jhalak Prize judges have compiled a shortlist this year that showcases the exceptional talent, creativity and excellence of craftsmanship among writers of color in Britain today. Given the strength of our longlists, this has been a challenging, joyful, and occasionally tearful process of not only picking books for the shortlist, but also letting go of loved ones.

“The books you have selected are magnificent in style, immensely ambitious in scope and scope, and richly structured in content. These are books about grief and renewal, about courage and resilience. These are books designed to make a reader feel and think. And they are books that fill us with joy, courage and, above all, hope.”

The 2022 award was won by Sabba Khan for her graphic novel The roles we play (countless). The Jhalak Children’s and Young Adult Prize was won by Maisie Chan for Danny Chung doesn’t do math (Piccadilly Press).


Subscribe to our Newsletter
Stay up-to-date