SA writer Ivan Vladislavic wins Yale prize

2015-02-25 13:10

Multi-award-winning author Ivan Vladislavic has recently added the International Windham Campbell Prize for Literature to his list of achievements.

Known widely for both his fiction and nonfiction works, Vladislavic was awarded the prestigious prize by Yale University following an illustrious writing career and, most notably, his works of fiction.

On the winner’s page, Vladislavic expressed his excitement: “Since I received the news of the prize yesterday, I have been in a bit of a daze. It is astonishingly generous and will make a decisive difference to my writing life. Thank you for recognising the work I’ve already done and for supporting the work I still want to do.”

Unlike many other competitions, writers are nominated without knowing, so the award is a complete surprise.

The prize is intended to “honour and support writers anywhere in the world writing in English”.

Nigerian writers Teju Cole and Helon Habila were also recognised in the fiction category.

Vladislavic has written prolifically about South African history, using facts and fiction to question and expose socioeconomic issues in the South African context.

As a writer for Staffrider Magazine and Raven Press, he became a prominent name in the literary resistance. He has been awarded the University of Johannesburg prize twice, as well as the Sunday Times prize for fiction.

Besides the glitz and glory of the esteemed prize, all the winners will receive an $150 000 (about R1.7 million) grant, intended to support their writing.

“Ivan Vladislavic’s fiction explores the uncomfortable aftermath of apartheid through inventive meditations on the complex intersection of history, politics, and art,” according to the selection committee.

A video of the prize announcement is available at

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