Radio Sunrise, by Anietie Isong has been shortlisted for the Kingston University Big Read project. The novel is one of the six shortlisted titles to be considered for staff and students to read before the 2017 academic year begins. Radio Sunrise, published in January 2017 by Jacaranda Books, is a hilarious, yet sobering take on the foibles of Nigerian life and politics from the perspective of a young journalist.
Since 2015, Kingston University in London has sent a book to every undergraduate and postgraduate student about to join the institution as part of the Big Read campaign, which promotes student involvement and ensures new arrivals feel welcome before they arrive. The final shortlist, narrowed down from 140 suggested titles, includes authors from Scotland, Nigeria and Kenya:
· My Name is Leon – Kit de Waal
· The Brilliant and the Forever – Kevin MacNeil
· Radio Sunrise – Anietie Isong
· The Power – Naomi Alderman
· The Elephant and the Bee – Jess de Boer
· The Penguin Lessons – Tom Mitchell
A selection panel comprising of staff and students from all faculties and departments of Kingston University will set about reading the six shortlisted titles, before choosing the official Big Read in April. The book will then be sent out to students getting set to join Kingston University for the start of the 2017/18 academic year, with a number of events scheduled throughout term to celebrate the project. Free copies of the book are also made available on campuses for all staff to join the conversation with students when they arrive.
Students and staff are encouraged to join in judging the shortlisted titles through discussion posts on Facebook, with the winning choice announced on Friday 13 April.
Anietie Isong started his career as a journalist with Radio Nigeria, in Lagos. His short stories have been published in journals and broadcast on the BBC and Radio Nigeria and he has won several writing prizes including the Commonwealth Short Story Award and the inaugural Olaudah Equiano Prize for Fiction. In 2009, his short story Devotion was selected as one of the exciting new stories from the next generation of English short story writers and published in the anthology Roads Ahead, edited by Catherine O’Flynn.
Anietie studied at the University of Ibadan and is currently completing a PhD in Media/ Creative Writing at De Montfort University, Leicester. Radio Sunrise is his first novel.