SOAS University of London

Publisher Myriad and SOAS to launch The Margaret Busby New Daughters of Africa Award

15 February 2019
Margaret Busby New Daughters of Africa Award book

The release of the writer and broadcaster Margaret Busby’s landmark new anthology, New Daughters of Africa, published by Myriad, will be celebrated by offering an award worth £20,000 for black, female students ordinarily resident in Africa to study at SOAS University of London.

New Daughters of Africa showcases the work of more than 200 women writers of African descent from across the globe and includes contributions from the internationally acclaimed authors Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Zadie Smith.

First published 25 years ago, Margaret Busby’s groundbreaking anthology Daughters of Africa illuminated the ‘silent, forgotten, underrated voices of black women’ (The Washington Post). Published to international acclaim, it was hailed as ‘an extraordinary body of achievement… a vital document of lost history’ (The Sunday Times).

The Margaret Busby New Daughters of Africa Award will make possible a course of study free of the worry of fees and accommodation costs. Margaret Busby, alongside the publisher, will be donating a proportion of her royalties from the anthology to the fund.

Candida Lacey, Publishing Director of Myriad, said: “We are so proud to be publishing Margaret Busby’s new landmark anthology. In addition to celebrating the literary excellence, diversity and shared heritage of women of African descent, Margaret always wanted New Daughters of Africa to make a real difference to women’s lives. Thanks to the generosity of the 200-plus contributors, every one of whom has waived their usual fees, we were able to explore many worthy causes. SOAS, with its unrivalled reputation for championing international understanding, recognition and awareness of African literature, shared our vision and leads the movement among universities to decolonise the curriculum. We couldn’t have hoped for a better partner. The additional support of International Students House hugely increases the value of the award with the inclusion of accommodation and food.”

Margaret Busby said: “It is a thrill and a pleasure to be able to shine a light on the remarkable creativity of each and every writer gathered in the pages of New Daughters of Africa. They must all take credit for their part in enabling the very special legacy that is this SOAS award. This is a truly empowering moment that I hope we can build on it in a way that will be a lasting inspiration and a pointer towards what becomes possible through imaginative collaboration.”

Professor Fareda Banda, Chair of the Centre of African Studies at SOAS, said: “Margaret Busby pioneered a movement with her inaugural volume of Daughters for Africa.  We all owe her an enormous debt of gratitude for her vision, resilience and tenacity when many doubted that anything coming out of Africa, or its diaspora, could be any good or indeed be worth publishing. The new volume with over 200 contributors speaks to the esteem in which she is held by the authors whose work she made possible. This culmination of her life's work is a testament to a phenomenal woman.  We honour you and thank you for building the roads on which we all walk.

“As Chair of the Centre of African Studies, I would also like to add my thanks to the contributors, publisher and of course, Margaret Busby herself and our partner International Students House for creating this Award.”

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New Daughters of Africa showcases the work of more than 200 women writers of African descent from across the globe— Antigua to Zimbabwe, Angola to the USA—to celebrate their contributions to literature and international culture. Among the contributors are Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Zadie Smith, Warsan Shire, Malorie Blackman, Patience Agbabi, Roxanne Gay, Bernadine Evaristo and a host of literary stars of the future. The anthology includes memoir, short stories, speeches, novel extracts, poetry and journalism to demonstrate the diversity and remarkable literary achievements of black women who remain under-represented, and whose works continue to be under-rated, in world culture today.

New Daughters of Africa: An International Anthology of Writing by Women of African Descent edited by Margaret Busby will be published by Myriad on 8 March 2019. Myriad publishes award-winning literary fiction, graphic novels and political nonfiction, including ground-breaking infographic atlases.