Zimbabwean Author Farai Mudzingwa Longlisted for the 2024 Republic of Consciousness Prize

Zimbabwean Author Farai Mudzingwa Longlisted for the 2024 Republic of Consciousness Prize

Zimbabwean author Farai Mudzingwa has garnered well-deserved recognition for his novel Avenues by Train, which has been longlisted for the 2024 Republic of Consciousness Prize for Small Presses! This prestigious literary award celebrates and supports small presses in the UK and Ireland, emphasizing their commitment to producing works of high literary merit.

Founded in 2017, the Republic of Consciousness Prize has a distinctive approach. Unlike traditional literary prizes that directly reward authors, this prize focuses on supporting publishers. The prize money is awarded to the publishing press, enabling them to make crucial decisions—whether it’s funding a new commission, printing additional copies, or investing in other essential aspects of their work.

Mudzingwa’s novel, published by Cassava Republic Press, delves into the life of Jedza, an electrician in newly independent Zimbabwe. Haunted by a childhood train accident, Jedza grapples with spiritual forces that seem to shape his destiny. His journey takes him from the mining town of Miner’s Drift to the bustling city of Harare.

As Jedza seeks to escape his past, he discovers that liberation is more elusive than he imagined. Against the backdrop of Zimbabwe’s political and social history, Mudzingwa weaves a poignant narrative of personal struggle and resilience. Colonial legacies intersect with individual lives, and the novel sheds light on the profound impact of historical forces.

The prize judges have showered praise upon Mudzingwa’s debut work:

“An assured debut. Avenues by Train addresses the objective truth of these lives but also deftly conveys the character’s subjective understanding of the forces that influence their fate.”

Farai Mudzingwa’s literary contributions extend beyond fiction. His work has been featured in various publications, including Kwani?WritivismWeaver PressEnkare Review, and Short Story Day Africa. Additionally, his non-fiction pieces have appeared in esteemed platforms such as Contemporary&The New Humanitarian, and The Johannesburg Review of Books.

The eagerly awaited shortlist for the Republic of Consciousness Prize will be announced on March 11, followed by the grand reveal of the winner at the award ceremony held at Foyles, Charing Cross Road on April 17.

Congratulations to Farai Mudzingwa and Cassava Republic Press for this remarkable achievement! Avenues by Train promises to captivate readers and leave an indelible mark on contemporary African literature.

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