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COAL Nigeria board member longlisted for the 2024 Dublin Literary Award

Our very own Abubakar Adam Ibrahim has made it to the longlist of the 2024 Dublin Literary Award for his Novel “When We Were Fireflies.”  He and other five African authors have made it to the longlist for the 2024 Dublin Literary Award. The five African titles longlisted include:

Abubakar Adam Ibrahim When We Were Fireflies (Nigeria)

Sharon Dodua Otoo Ada’s Realm (Ghana)

Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah Chain-Gang All-Stars (Ghana)

Chidi Ebere  – Now I Am Here (Nigeria)

Mia Couto The Drinker of Horizons (Mozambique)

Margie Orford The Eye of the Beholder (Namibia)


The Dublin Literary Award honours excellence in world literature since 1996. Presented annually, the Award is one of the most significant literature prizes in the world, worth €100,000 for a single work of fiction in original English or translated into English. We couldn’t be more proud. Check out the full longlist here

When We Were Fireflies, Ibrahim’s second novel, tells the story of a troubled man living a third life, and a third death looming. Yerima Lalo had been murdered twice. The first time by a jealous rival on a moving train and the second time by a jealous brother on a farm. With a third impending death hovering and Yerima falling in love again, love appears to be his tragic flaw. 

Adam Ibrahim Abubakar weaves tragedy in an attempt to leave us in hope rather than despair and anxiety. Bringing on tropes of unreliable narrations, metafiction and self reflection he creates a hero in a tragic setting such as Nigeria, who defies the odds against him both by external and internal powers that would normally bring anyone to his knees.

Abubakar Adam Ibrahim has won the BBC African Performance Prize and the ANA Plateau/Amatu Braide Prize for Prose and in 2014, his debut short story collection, The Whispering Tree was longlisted for the inaugural Etisalat Prize for literature in 2014 and was shortlisted for the Caine Prize for African Literature. He was selected for the Africa39 list of writers aged under 40 with the potential and talent to define future trends in African literature. His first novel, Season of Crimson Blossoms, won the Nigerian Prize for Literature in 2016.

He worked as a Features Editor at the Daily Trust newspaper. Ibrahim’s reporting from North-East Nigeria has won particular critical acclaim. In May 2018 he was announced as the winner of the Michael Elliot Award for Excellence in African Storytelling, awarded by the International Center for Journalists, for his report “All That Was Familiar”, published in Granta magazine.

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