FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, 22 April 2014
Fifteenth Caine Prize shortlist Announced
The shortlist for the 2014 Caine Prize for African Writing has been announced today (Tuesday 22 April) by Nobel Prize winner and Patron of the Caine Prize Professor Wole Soyinka, as part of the opening ceremonies for the UNESCO World Book Capital 2014 celebration in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
To commemorate fifteen years of the Caine Prize this year, £500 will be awarded to each shortlisted writer.
The Chair of judges, award-winning author Jackie Kay MBE described the shortlist as, “Compelling, lyrical, thought-provoking and engaging. From a daughter's unusual way of grieving for her father, to a memorable swim with a grandmother, a young boy's fascination with a gorilla's conversation, a dramatic faux family meeting, to a woman who is forced to sell her eggs, the subjects are as diverse as they are entertaining.”
She added, “The standard of entries was exceptionally high so much so that it was actually very difficult for the judges to whittle it down to a shortlist of only five stories. We were heartened by how many entrants were drawn to explorations of a gay narrative. What a golden age for the African short story, and how exciting to see real originality - with so many writers bringing something different to the form."
The winner of the £10,000 prize is to be announced at a celebratory dinner at the Bodleian Library, Oxford, on Monday 14 July.
The 2014 shortlist comprises:
- Diane Awerbuck (South Africa) "Phosphorescence" in Cabin Fever (Umuzi, Cape Town. 2011)
- Efemia Chela (Ghana/Zambia) "Chicken" in Feast, Famine and Potluck (Short Story Day Africa, South Africa. 2013)
- Tendai Huchu (Zimbabwe) "The Intervention" in Open Road Review, issue 7, New Delhi. 2013
- Billy Kahora (Kenya) "The Gorilla's Apprentice" in Granta (London. 2010)
- Okwiri Oduor (Kenya) "My Father's Head" in Feast, Famine and Potluck (Short Story Day Africa, South Africa. 2013)
As always the stories will be available to read online on our website www.caineprize.com. For the first time an audio version of Tendai Huchu’s story is also available.
The book of the 2014 prize will be published with the this year’s workshop stories in our forthcoming anthology which will be launched at the award dinner in July 2014 and published by New Internationalist (978-1-78026-174-4 print; 978-1-78026-175-1 ebook) and seven co-publishers in Africa.
Alongside Jackie on the panel of judges this year are the distinguished novelist and playwright Gillian Slovo, Zimbabwean journalist Percy Zvomuya, Assistant Professor of English at the University of Georgetown Dr Nicole Rizzuto and the winner of the Caine Prize in 2001 Helon Habila.
Once again, the winner of the £10,000 Caine Prize will be given the opportunity of taking up a month’s residence at Georgetown University, as a Writer-in-Residence at the Lannan Center for Poetics and Social Practice. The award will cover all travel and living expenses. The winner will also be invited to take part in the Open Book Festival in Cape Town in September 2014, the Storymoja Hay Festival in Nairobi and the Ake Festival in Nigeria. Last year the Caine Prize was won by Nigerian writer Tope Folarin. He has subsequently signed up with the Lippincott Massie McQuilkin literary agency and is working on his first novel The Proximity of Distance.
Dates for the Diary
This year the shortlisted writers will be reading from their work at the Royal Over-Seas League on Thursday, 10 July at 7pm and at the Southbank Centre, on Sunday, 13 July at 5pm. On Friday, 11 July and Saturday, 12 July the shortlisted writers will also take part in the Africa Writes Festival at The British Library, organised by ASAUK and the Royal African Society.
Notes to Editors
The Caine Prize, awarded annually for African creative writing, is named after the late Sir Michael Caine, former Chairman of Booker plc and Chairman of the Booker Prize management committee for nearly 25 years. The Prize is awarded for a short story by an African writer published in English (indicative length 3,000 to 10,000 words). An “African writer” is normally taken to mean someone who was born in Africa, or who is a national of an African country, or who has a parent who is African by birth or nationality.
The African winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature, Wole Soyinka, Nadine Gordimer and J M Coetzee, are Patrons of The Caine Prize. Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne is President of the Council, Ben Okri OBE is Vice President, Jonathan Taylor CBE is the Chairman and Ellah Wakatama Allfrey OBE is the Deputy Chairperson.
The five shortlisted stories, alongside stories written at the Caine Prize workshops are published annually by New Internationalist (UK), Jacana Media (South Africa), Cassava Republic (Nigeria), Kwani? (Kenya), Sub-Saharan Publishers (Ghana), FEMRITE (Uganda), Bookworld Publishers (Zambia) and ‘amaBooks (Zimbabwe). Anthologies are available from the publishers or from the Africa Book Centre, African Books Collective or Amazon. The New Internationalist edition of ‘A Memory This Size and other stories’ was published on 1 July 2013. ebook)
Previous winners are Sudan’s Leila Aboulela (2000), Nigerian Helon Habila (2001), Kenyan Binyavanga Wainaina (2002), Kenyan Yvonne Owuor (2003), Zimbabwean Brian Chikwava (2004), Nigerian Segun Afolabi (2005), South African Mary Watson (2006), Ugandan Monica Arac de Nyeko (2007), South African Henrietta Rose-Innes (2008), Nigerian EC Osondu (2009), Sierra Leonean Olufemi Terry (2010), Zimbabwean NoViolet Bulawayo (2011), Nigerian Rotimi Babatunde (2012) and Nigerian Tope Folarin (2013).
The Caine Prize is principally supported by The Oppenheimer Memorial Trust, Miles Morland, the Booker Prize Foundation, Sigrid Rausing & Eric Abraham, Weatherly International plc, China Africa Resources, Exotix and CSL Stockbrokers. Other funders include the DOEN Foundation, The Beit Trust, British Council, The Lennox and Wyfold Foundation, the Royal Over-Seas League and Kenya Airways. World Book Capital is a title bestowed by UNESCO to a city in recognition of the quality of its programs to promote books and reading and the dedication of all players in the book industry. The designation runs from UNESCO's World Book and Copyright Day (April 23) of one year until April 22 of the following year. Port Harcourt, Nigeria holds the World Book Capital title for 2014 http://www.portharco...ookcapital.org/
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