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News: Another Win for Nigerian Literature As Food Essayist Yemisi Aribisala Wins the Prestigious John Avery Award

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Yemisi Aribisala

Last week, there was another win for Nigeria in the literary space. Food writer, Yemisi Aribisala won the prestigious John Avery award at the Andre Simon Food and Drink Awards. The award is the annual food and drink awards, and winners each receive £2000.

The John Avery award is worth £1500 and shortlisted authors each receive £200. Yemisi Aribisala won the award for her book Long Throat Memoirs: Soup, Sex and Nigerian Taste Buds and the judges praised the book for its original insight into Nigerian food and culture.

Here’s some interesting information about the awards generally:

The award has a wide remit. We are not looking just for ‘Cookery
Book of the Year’ or ‘Food Book of the Year’ or ‘Wine Book of the Year’.
So we consider books of recipes, biographies, guides, polemical works,
reference books. The list of past winners is testimony to the breadth of
work that has been recognised by this award.

Every year, the Trustees call in books that have not been
submitted. On occasion, these have gone on to win so if you are unsure
whether your favourite newly published book or indeed your own work has
been submitted by the publisher, email Katie Lander, the Secretary, with the details.

There are so many fantastic food and wine books published each
year that it is a real pleasure for all the trustees to reward the
months and years of hard work by the authors, and the creativity and
care lavished on them by the publishers with these awards. They are in
the spirit of André Simon who did so much to encourage the enjoyment of
food and wine.

Long Throat Memoirs: Soup, Sex and Nigerian Taste Buds was published by Cassava Press – headed by Bibi Bakare-Yusuf.

Congratulations to Yemisi Aribisala  – the first black woman to win this award! We can’t wait to read more of her work.

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