Lowe Cape Town’s Alistair Morgan has been shortlisted for the prestigious M-Net Literary Awards for his second novel, The Land Within. The following is an excerpt form the press release:

Innovation and risk characterise the 2013 shortlists of the M-Net Literary Awards. Selected from 96 titles received in all 11 official languages, the shortlists for the M-Net Literary Awards once again reflect the magic of South African writing.

In the English language category, the shortlist includes:

Barris, Ken Life Under Water (Kwela Books)
Coovadia, Imraan The Institute for Taxi Poetry (Umuzi)
Gordimer, Nadine No Time Like the Present (Pan Macmillan)
Morgan, Alistair The Land Within (Penguin Books)
Whyle, James The Book of War (Jacana Media)

“2013 has been a record year for us as we received books in all 11 languages – something that has not happened in a long time. Choosing the shortlist was not an easy process as the storylines across the board were so strong. However, the judges have done a brilliant job at narrowing down all 96 books to this worthy list.

“To add to the developments of the Awards this year, we have added the “Best Debut Novel” Category for any new author who has written their first novel. We believe that it is important to boost the aspirations of any new author who has written in the language of their choice,” says Lani Lombard, M-Net Head of Publicity.

The other exciting development is in the Nguni and Sotho categories. In previous years only one winner was chosen in the Nguni and Sotho languages, but this year winners in each language (Xhosa and Zulu, Sotho, Sepedi, Setswana, siSwati and isiNdebele) stand to win R50 000. These developments make the Awards unique in that all 11 official languages are treated equally. The winners will be announced at the awards function on 20 September 2013 in Johannesburg.