Nadifa Mohamed wins Wales Book of the Year Award with “The Fortune Men”

Nadifa Mohamed has won the Wales Book of the Year Award 2022 with her novel The Fortune Men (Viking), The Bookseller reports.

According to the report, she accomplished this after picking up a hat-trick of prizes at the annual event.

The novel was awarded the Rhys Davies Trust Fiction Award, then the Wales Arts Review People’s Choice Award, before going on to win the overall award and the crowning title of Wales Book of the Year 2022. Mohamed receives a total prize of £4,000 for all three awards and a bespoke trophy, designed and created by the artist Angharad Pearce Jones.

The Fortune Men is Mohamed’s third novel, and was shortlisted for the 2021 Booker Prize. It is a fictionalised retelling of the story of Mahmood Mattan, a man wrongfully convicted of murder in 1950s Cardiff. 

Mohamed was born in Hargeisa, Somaliland, in 1981 and moved to Britain at the age of four. Her first novel, Black Mamba Boy (HarperCollins) won the Betty Trask Prize, was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, the Dylan Thomas Prize, and the PEN Open Book Award. Her second novel, Orchard of Lost Souls (Scribner UK), won a Somerset Maugham Award and the Prix Albert Bernard. She was selected for the Granta Best of Young British Novelists in 2013 and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.  

The prize celebrates outstanding literary talent from Wales across many genres published in both English and Welsh, across six categories. 

To be eligible, books need to be written by a Welsh or Wales-based writer, or must have strong Welsh-themed content.

The awards are judged by an independent panel appointed annually. Judging the English-language books this year were poet and writer Krystal Lowe, journalist and broadcaster Andy Welch, author and presenter Matt Brown, and poet Taylor Edmonds.

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