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 May 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.
In its sixteenth year the Caine Prize has received 153 qualifying short stories from 17 African countries, a record breaking number of entries.
The 2015 judges, who were announced at Ake Arts and Books Festival in Abeokuta, Nigeria at the end of last year, will meet in late April to decide on the shortlisted stories, which will be announced shortly thereafter. Each shortlisted writer will be awarded £500.
The award-winning South African author Zoë Wicomb is chairing the judging panel. She will be joined by the distinguished television and radio journalist, and Chairperson of the Royal African Society Zeinab Badawi, Indian author and Man Booker Prize shortlistee Neel Mukherjee, Assistant Professor of English at the University of Georgetown Cóilín Parsons, and Brian Chikwava, the winner of the Caine Prize in 2004.
Last year 140 qualifying stories were submitted to the judges from 17 African countries.
Caine Prize Director Dr Lizzy Attree stated, “The emergence of new Prizes for African authors and the growth of publishing on the continent means that African literature is really thriving in the 21st Century and this is reflected in the increase in eligible entries to the Caine Prize year on year.”
For the first time the new Weston Library (formerly the New Bodleian) in Oxford, UK will host the Caine Prize award ceremony as one of its first official functions in Blackwell Hall on Monday 6 July.
The five shortlisted stories, alongside the stories written at the annual Caine Prize workshop, are published annually by New Internationalist in the UK and publishers in eight African countries; ‘amaBooks (Zimbabwe), Bookworld Publishers (Zambia), Cassava Republic (Nigeria), FEMRITE (Uganda), Jacana Media (South Africa), Kwani? (Kenya), Langaa Research and Publishing CIG (Cameroon), Lantern Books (Nigeria) and Sub-Saharan Publishers (Ghana).
The judges of this year’s Caine Prize for African Writing were announced today at the Ake Arts and Book Festival in Abeokuta, Nigeria. The panel will be chaired by award-winning South African author Zoë Wicomb. She will be joined by the distinguished television and radio journalist Zeinab Badawi, Indian author and Man Booker Prize shortlistee Neel Mukherjee, Assistant Professor of English at the University of Georgetown Cóilín Parsons, and Brian Chikwava, the winner of the Caine Prize in 2004.
During the announcement Caine Prize Director Lizzy Attree stated, “We are proud to announce the 2015 judges early this year and hope the calibre of this outstanding panel will encourage publishers to enter stories before the deadline of 31 January 2015.”
Last year a record 140 qualifying stories were submitted to the judges from 17 African countries. The judges will meet in late April 2015 to decide on the shortlisted stories, which will be announced shortly thereafter. £500 will be awarded to each shortlisted writer. The winning story will be announced at a dinner at the Bodleian Library in Oxford on Monday 6 July 2015.
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.
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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