The Sylt Foundation and the Goethe Institute in Johannesburg jointly invited Helon Habila to come to Johannesburg for a residency as well as to join the Goethe-Institute´s bimonthly series "Literary Crossroads" in May.
Helon Habila is the author of three novels. He was Arts Editor of Nigeria’s Vanguard Newspaper when his short story “Love Poems” won the 2001 Caine Prize, garnering him international attention as one of the most exciting new voices in contemporary ﬁction. The story was excerpted from his ﬁrst novel, Waiting for an Angel (2002), itself about a Nigerian journalist’s literary ambitions threatened by a repressive military regime. Waiting was awarded the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Novel (Africa Region). That year Habila was also invited to serve as the ﬁrst African Writing Fellow at the University of East Anglia, and in 2006 he co-edited the British Council’s collection NW14: The Anthology of New Writing. His second novel Measuring Time (2007) won the Library of Virginia Literary Award for Fiction. In 2011, he published his latest novel Oil on Water and edited The Granta Book of the African Short Story. He is currently Associate Professor of Creative Writing at George Mason University and returns to Nigeria each summer to teach a writing workshop.
He has been published by AfrikAWunderhorn for the German-speaking world.
In 2015 he won the prestigious Windham-Campbell Prize.
Helon Habila, 7th May 2015, Goethe-Institut Johannesburg