The Caine Prize for African Writing is named in memory of the late Sir Michael Caine, former Chairman of Booker plc. He was Chairman of Africa 95, and Chairman of the Booker Prize management committee for almost 25 years.
The first prize was awarded in 2000, at the Zimbabwe International Book Fair 2000 in Harare, and the 2001 Prize at the Nairobi Book Fair in September 2001 The winner is announced at a dinner in Oxford in July, to which the shortlisted candidates are all invited. This is part of a week of activities for the candidates, including bookreadings, booksignings and press opportunities.
The Board of Trustees and the Council of the Caine Prize for African Writing extend their deepest condolences to the family of Nelson Mandela and join with the people of South Africa in celebrating a life dedicated to justice and freedom for all.
Council member Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has said "We are relieved that his suffering is over, but our relief is drowned by our grief."
Vice President of the Caine Prize, Ben Okri, said on Newsnight that “he’s been the great poetic figure of our times in terms of what he represented in terms of freedom, his integrity his beauty of spirit, his love of dance, his sense of humour, his dress style, he championed an African aesthetic. I always think of Mandela as being the representative statesman, not only the African statesman, but the commensurate statesman of our time. He demonstrated more than anyone else how you transfigure the great burden of suffering and expectation in to forgiveness, grace and dignity.”
The Council of the Caine Prize for African Writing pays tribute to Doris Lessing, a fellow member of the Caine Prize Council, who has died in London, aged ninety-four. JM Coetzee, a patron of the Caine Prize, hailed Mrs Lessing as “one of the great visionary novelists of our time.”
Although she was a paradox in Caine Prize terms (she was born in Kermanshah, Persia in what is now Iran), the then Administrator, Nick Elam, and Chairman, Jonathan Taylor, were keen that the Prize benefitted from the advice of a writer whose work was hugely influenced by growing up in Zimbabwe, a country which featured strongly in her early writings. Mrs Lessing gave money regularly to support the Caine Prize and was vocal in her goodwill towards the Prize. We are immensely grateful for her help and support and for the kindness and generosity she showed towards the Caine Prize. She will be sorely missed.
NoViolet Bulawayo, winner of the Caine Prize in 2011, has become the first black African woman ever to be shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. She is an inspiration to all aspiring African writers.
Her shortlisted novel, ‘We Need New Names’, opens with the short story ‘Hitting Budapest,’ that won her the Caine Prize in 2011. It has shown once more the power African literature can have on a world stage and the importance of promoting African writers to a wide audience.
Applications for the 2014 Caine Prize are now open – we are looking for the next NoViolet Bulawayo! For the first time the Caine Prize will award £500 to each shortlisted writer.
Nigeria’s Tope Folarin has won the 2013 Caine Prize for African Writing, described as Africa’s leading literary award, for his short story entitled ‘Miracle’ from Transition, Issue 109 (Bloomington, 2012).
The Chair of Judges, Gus Casely-Hayford, announced Tope Folarin as the winner of the £10,000 prize at a dinner held this evening (Monday, 8 July) at the Bodleian Library in Oxford.
‘Miracle’ is a story set in Texas in an evangelical Nigerian church where the congregation has gathered to witness the healing powers of a blind pastor-prophet. Religion and the gullibility of those caught in the deceit that sometimes comes with faith rise to the surface as a young boy volunteers to be healed and begins to believe in miracles.
Gus Casely-Hayford praised the story, saying: "Tope Folarin's 'Miracle' is another superb Caine Prize winner - a delightful and beautifully paced narrative, that is exquisitely observed and utterly compelling".
The award is made in July each year and deadline for submissions is 31st January.
Would you like to enter this year's prize?
Learn how here....
The anthology, "A Memory This Size and other stories: The Caine Prize for African Writing 2013", now available.
Buy it here...
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