Ugandan author wins one of world's most lucrative literary prizes

Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, author of "Kintu."

Story highlights

  • The Ugandan author won a prize worth $165,000
  • Eight writers received awards

(CNN)When Ugandan author Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi sent her novel "Kintu" to British publishers it was initially rejected because it was "too African."

After success in East Africa and a US release less than one year ago, Makumbi has disproved the naysayers and won one of the most lucrative literary prizes in the world, the Windham Campbell prize from Yale University in the US.
    Makumbi will take home $165,000 for her debut novel.
    Makumbi told CNN that British publishers weren't particularly interested because it didn't include European aspects.
    "Publishers in the UK are thinking about their readers in Britain and normally when they publish African novels they prefer to publish novels that deal with Europe as well," Makumbi said.
    The book was first published in Kenya four years ago.
    "The book was sold in East Africa and it was an instant hit," Makumbi said.
    The Uganda author, now based in Manchester, moved to the UK at the age of 33, 17 years ago.
    On receiving the award Makumbi said, "I couldn't believe it, I was crying. I'd just published one book and it's been out only less than a year in America."
    Makumbi is one of eight writers to win a Windham Campbell Prize.

    "Too African"