Chidi Ebere Among Christopher Bland Prize Shortlist For Debut Authors Over 50

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The Royal Society of Literature has unveiled the Christopher Bland Prize for debut authors aged 50 shortlist in which among the five shortlistees is Chidi Ebere with his book, Now I Am Here , published by Macmillan Books.

In Now I Am Here, the novel talks about an unnamed soldier facing death. In his final hours, the soldier accepts his fate and attempts to explain how he got there in a journal addressed to a loved one back home. Even though his love will never read his words, the officer recounts his journey from carefree young man to war criminal. Part-warning, part-confession, the officer explains how he was an ordinary man who made the wrong choices due to virulent nationalism. Chidi Ebere’s novel is a profound reflection on how good people can do terrible things  precipitated by circumstances and the violence of war. 

In his word of appreciation, Ebere says:

Right now, it’s impossible to say what it means to have my novel shortlisted – I’m still digesting the news. But I can tell you it’s a wonderful feeling. An intense glow of quiet satisfaction; very present, very grateful “.

The RSL Christopher Bland Prize was inaugurated by the Royal Society of Literature to encourage the work of older writers. It is awarded annually to an author of a fiction or non-fiction book who was first published when aged 50 or over. The prize is valued at £10,000 and was launched in September 2018. It is named in recognition of Sir Christopher Bland, who was 76 when his first novel was published, in which The initial panel of judges was chaired by Gillian Slovo, and comprised Sanjeev Bhaskar, Archie Bland (son of Sir Christopher) and Anne Chisholm

Chidi Ebere was born and raised in Oxford and spent part of his childhood in Nigeria before returning to the UK. His short stories have appeared in UK Cosmopolitan, Ambit and West 8. He has also written on architecture and urbanism for Archis, Harvard Design Magazine, the Journal of Architecture and others. He now lives in Amsterdam. Now I Am Here is his first novel.

Congratulations Ebere!


Bakare Oluwatobiloba

I write to educate, motivate and define history with literature. Just being me!