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. The narrator works in an old people's home and comes into contact with a priest, giving her the courage to recall her buried memories of her father.
Jackie Kay praised the story, saying, "Okwiri Oduor is a writer we are all really excited to have discovered. 'My Father's Head' is an uplifting story about mourning - Joycean in its reach. She exercises an extraordinary amount of control and yet the story is subtle, tender and moving. It is a story you want to return to the minute you finish it."
Okwiri Oduor directed the inaugural Writivism Literary Festival in Kampala, Uganda in August 2013. Her novella, The Dream Chasers was highly commended in the Commonwealth Book Prize, 2012. She is a 2014 MacDowell Colony fellow and is currently at work on her debut novel.
Also shortlisted were:
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 2015 prize are now open. The deadline for entries is 31st January 2015.
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...
copyright 2014 The Caine Prize
Registered charity number: 1039039
Africa95 is a company Limited by Guarantee; Registered in England & Wales; Company No 02813337
The Caine Prize for African Writing is a registered trademark in the UK