Two novelists from Nigeria who currently teach at U.S. academic institutions have received the 2015 Windham Campbell Prize, that honors authors of fiction, nonfiction, and drama. The prize comes with a $150,000 cash award. The literary awards are administered by Yale University.
Helon Habila is an associate professor of creative writing at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Habila is a contributing editor of the Virginia Quarterly Review. He is the author of three novels: Waiting for an Angel (W.W. Norton, 2003), Measuring Time (Harnish Hamilton, 2007) and Oil on Water (W.W. Norton, 2011).
Habila graduated from the University of Jos, Nigeria, in 1995, with a degree in English Literature. He came to the United States in 2005 as the first Chinua Achebe Fellow at Bard College, New York.
Teju Cole is a Distinguished Writer in Residence at Bard College in New York. He is the author of Open City, a novel about a young Nigerian who is conducting his residency in psychiatry in New York.
Cole is a graduate of Kalamazoo College in Michigan and holds a master’s degree from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. He studied for a Ph.D. in art history at Columbia University.