Helon Habila, an associate professor of creative writing in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, has been selected as the judge for the 2016 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction. The $25,000 prize will be awarded to the author of first novel or collection of short stories published in 2015 that “represents a distinguished literary achievement and suggests great promise of a second work of literary fiction.” The award winner will be announced in March and presented in April.
A native of Nigeria, Habila studied at the University of Jos and later at the University of East Anglica. Earlier this year, he won the $150,000 Windham Campbell Prize. He has also won the prestigious Caine Prize for African Writing and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize.
Habila is the author of three novels Waiting for an Angel (W.W. Norton, 2003), Measuring Time (Hamish Hamilton, 2007), and Oil on Water (W.W. Norton, 2011). He is also the editor of The Granta Book of the African Short Story (Granta Books, 2012).