Kenya's Okwiri Oduor has won the 2014 Caine Prize for African Writing, described as Africa's leading literary award, for her short story entitled 'My Father's Head' from Feast, Famine and Potluck (Short Story Day Africa, South Africa, 2013).
The Chair of Judges, Jackie Kay MBE, announced Okwiri Oduor as the winner of the £10,000 prize at a dinner held this evening (Monday, 14 July) at the Bodleian Library in Oxford.
'My Father's Head' explores the narrator's difficulty in dealing with the loss of her father and looks at the themes of memory, loss and loneliness.
The five writer shortlist for the 2015 Caine Prize for African Writing has been announced by Chair of judges, award-winning South African writer Zoë Wicomb. In a sign of the established calibre to be found in African writing and as the Caine Prize matures in its sixteenth year, the shortlist includes one past winner and two previously shortlisted writers.
Chair of judges, Zoë Wicomb described the shortlist as, "an exciting crop of well-crafted stories."
"For all the variety of themes and approaches, the shortlist has in common a rootedness in socio-economic worlds that are pervaded with affect, as well as keen awareness of the ways in which the ethical is bound up with aesthetics. Unforgettable characters, drawn with insight and humour, inhabit works ranging from classical story structures to a haunting, enigmatic narrative that challenges the conventions of the genre."
She added, "Understatement and the unspoken prevail: hints of an orphan’s identity bring poignant understanding of his world; the reader is slowly and expertly guided to awareness of a narrator’s blindness; there is delicate allusion to homosexual love; a disfigured human body is encountered in relation to adolescent escapades; a nameless wife’s insecurities barely mask her understanding of injustice; and, we are given a flash of insight into dark passions that rise out of a surreal resistance culture."
"Above all, these stories speak of the pleasure of reading fiction. It will be no easy task to settle on a winner."
Each shortlisted writer receives £500 and the winner of the £10,000 prize will be announced at an award ceremony and dinner at the Weston Library, Bodleian Libraries, Oxford, on Monday 6 July.
The 2015 shortlist comprises:
Each of these stories will be published in New Internationalist’s Caine Prize 2015 Anthology in July and through co-publishers across Africa, who receive a print ready PDF free of charge from New Internationalist.
Read a short biography of the five shortlisted writers here.
Entries for the 2016 prize are now open. The deadline for entries is 31st January 2016.
Would you like to enter this year's prize?
Learn how here....
"The Gonjon Pin", the anthology containing the five shortlisted stories for The Caine Prize for African Writing 2014 is now available.
Buy it here...
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