NOTE: This article is a republication- Source: Kirkus Reviews (by Michael Schaub).
Arinze Ifeakandu is the winner of this year’s Dylan Thomas Prize, given each year to “the best published literary work in the English language, written by an author aged 39 or under.”
Ifeakandu, 28, won the award for his debut book, the story collection God’s Children Are Little Broken Things. The collection won the inaugural Republic of Consciousness Prize, United States and Canada, and was a finalist for the Kirkus Prize and the Lambda Literary Award for gay fiction. In a starred review, a critic for Kirkus wrote of the book, “Deftly capturing the richness and dangers of romantic connection, these stories complicate and reimagine queer narratives.”
Di Speirs, the chair of judges for the award, said in a statement, “We were unanimous in our praise and admiration for this exhilarating collection of nine stories. Arinze Ifeakandu’s debut shines with maturity, the writing bold, refreshing, and exacting but never afraid to linger and to allow characters and situations to develop and change, so that the longer stories are almost novels in themselves.”
The Dylan Thomas Prize, named in honor of the legendary Welsh poet, was launched in 2006, and comes with a cash award of about $25,000. Previous winners have included Maggie Shipstead for Seating Arrangements, Claire Vaye Watkins for Battleborn, and Patricia Lockwood for No One Is Talking About This.