Helon Habila, Göteborg 2010
Kaltungo, Gombe State
|Alma mater||University of Jos
University of East Anglia
|Notable awards||2001 Caine Prize|
Helon Habila Ngalabak (born 1967) is a Nigerian novelist and poet. He worked as a lecturer and journalist in Nigeria before moving to England to become the African Writing Fellow at the University of East Anglia. In 2002 he published his first novel, Waiting for an Angel. His writing has won many prizes including the Caine Prize in 2001. In 2005/2006 he became the Chinua Achebe Fellow at Bard College, NY.
In 2006 he co-edited the British Council anthology New Writing 14. His second novel, Measuring Time, was published in 2007. His third novel, Oil on Water, which deals with environmental pollution in the oil-rich Nigerian Delta, was published in the US in 2011. His anthology The Granta Book of the African Short Story came out September 2011.
Habila is a founding member and currently serves on the advisory board of African Writers Trust, "a non-profit entity which seeks to coordinate and bring together African writers in the Diaspora and writers on the continent to promote sharing of skills and other resources, and to foster knowledge and learning between the two groups."
Awards and honors
- 2001 Caine Prize, "Love Poems"
- 2003 Commonwealth Writers' Prize, Africa category, Waiting for an Angel
- 2007 Emily Clark Balch Prize (short story), from Virginia Quarterly Review, "The Hotel Malogo"
- 2008 Virginia Library Foundation Fiction Award, Measuring Time
- 2011 Commonwealth Writers Prize, shortlist, Oil on Water
- 2012 Orion Book Award, shortlist, Oil on Water
- 2012 PEN/Open Book Award, shortlist, Oil on Water
- 2015 Windham–Campbell Literature Prize (Fiction) valued at $150,000
- Waiting for an Angel: A Novel (2004), Penguin Books, ISBN 0-14-101006-1
- New Writing 14, (2006) Granta Books. (co-edited with Lavinia Greenlaw).
- Measuring Time: A Novel (2007), W. W. Norton, ISBN 0-393-05251-6.
- Dreams, Miracles, and Jazz: An Anthology of New Africa Fiction (2007), Pan Macmillan (co-edited with Kadija George).
- Oil on Water: A Novel (2010), Hamish Hamilton, ISBN 978-0-241-14486-2
- The Granta Book of the African Short Story (2011), Granta, ISBN 1-84708-247-5; ISBN 978-1-84708-247-3
- Press Release for "Writing Africa", panel held at Bard College with Chinua Achebe, Kofi Anyidoho, Emmanuel Dongala, Helon Habila and Caryl Phillips, September 2005.
- Giles Foden, Review: "The power of two", The Guardian, 10 February 2007.
- "Directory of Chevening Alumni". Chevening UK Government Scholarships. 24 August 2014.
- International Herald Tribune
- "Helon Habila: In search of Africa's angels", The Independent, 9 February 2007.
- "Advisory Board". African Writers Trust. Retrieved August 24, 2011 from
- "What is African Writers Trust?" African Writers Trust. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
- Lamwaka, Beatrice, "Goretti Kyomuhendo of African Writers Trust", Afrolit, 22 May 2011. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
- "Prize Citation for Helon Habila". Windham–Campbell Literature Prize. February 24, 2015. Retrieved February 25, 2015.
- Everything Follows: An Interview With Helon Habila
- Habila's website
- Onomastic study of the name Helon