YES, it’s that time of year again! In less than a month, the 2018 Caine Prize winner will be announced!
For those who are not familiar, the Caine Prize for African Writing, which was first awarded in year 2000 is an award “open to writers from anywhere in Africa for work published in English. Its focus is on the short story, reflecting the contemporary development of the African story-telling tradition” (source).
Some notable winners of the Caine Prize include (click on links to my reviews):
- Leila Aboulela, from Sudan (2000) – author of novels Minaret, The Translator, Lyrics Alley, among other works.
- Binyavanga Wainaina, from Kenya (2002) – founding editor of Kwani?, author of memoir One Day I Will Write About This Place and the essay How To Write About Africa found in various literary magazines.
- Yvonne A. Owuor, from Kenya (2003) – author of the novel, Dust.
- E.C Osondu, from Nigeria (2009) – author of the novel This House is not For Sale and collection Voice of America: stories.
- NoViolet Bulawayo, from Zimbabwe (2011) – author of the novel, We Need New Names.
Previously shortlisted writers include: (2001) Mia Couto from Mozambique, (2002) Chimamanda Adichie from Nigeria, (2006) Laila Lalami from Morocco, (2013) Chinelo Okparanta from Nigeria, (2013) Pede Hollist from Sierra Leone, (2014) Tendai Huchu from Zimbabwe, (2013 & 2015) Elnathan John from Nigeria, among others!
The Caine Prize and the shortlisted stories play huge roles in the authors I read from Africa. Many Caine Prize winners and shortlisted writers have found great success and I’ve reviewed a good number of these writers’ works here on African Book Addict!
This year, the Caine Prize shortlist comprises of five talented writers with unique short stories (left to right):
(Image via caineprize.com)
Nonyelum Ekwempu (Nigeria) – Read her story: American Dream
Stacy Hardy (South Africa) – Read her story: Involution
Olufunke Ogundimu (Nigeria) – Read her story: The Armed Letter Writers
Makena Onjerika (Kenya) – Read her story: Fanta Blackcurrant
Wole Talabi (Nigeria) – Read his story: Wednesday’s Story
So this year, we have 4 stories by women and 1 story by a man ; 3 out of 5 stories are by Nigerians, 1 story each by a Kenyan and South African. Nigerian excellence always dominates these shortlists – what’s new? For the past 4 years, I’ve been providing commentary on which of the shortlisted stories I enjoyed and disliked… but this year, I will not be reviewing any of them.
I hope you all get a chance to read some of the stories linked above. May the best story win!
Which story is your favorite? Who do you think will win the Caine Prize this year?
The winner will be announced in London at Senate House Library in partnership with SOAS, on 2 July 2018. Good luck to all the shortlisted candidates!
You can also check out past commentary on the Caine Prize below: