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 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 has signed a deal with the Nigerian publishing company, Lantern Books, to publish the 2014 edition of the Caine Prize anthology, The Gonjon Pin and Other Stories. Lantern Books have committed to printing 5,000 copies of the anthology which will be available at the Ake Arts & Book Festival on 18-22 November in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria.
Commenting on the new partnership, Caine Prize Director Lizzy Attree says, “We're delighted to be working with Lantern Books in Nigeria this year to publish The Gonjon Pin, ensuring that all 17 short stories are widely available to Nigerian readers, from a local publisher, and at an affordable price."
Traditionally a children’s publisher, Lantern Books is one of Nigeria’s largest indigenous publishers. “Lantern Books is excited that we have been given the opportunity to enter into collaboration with New Internationalist to bring you the Caine Prize collection,” comments Lantern’s Managing Director, Tunde Lawal-Solarin. “African stories are a priceless window into our collective mind and our culture. Let us not only share our hopes and fears. Let us promote and ensure that we use this medium to build our hopes, dreams, desires and our future.”
Lantern Books joins ten other publishers already selling Caine Prize anthologies in Europe and Africa. The Caine Prize anthology of short stories, which includes the five stories shortlisted each year, alongside stories written at the workshops, is published annually by New Internationalist in the UK and publishers in eight different African countries; ‘amaBooks (Zimbabwe), Bookworld Publishers (Zambia), Cassava Republic (Nigeria), FEMRITE (Uganda), Jacana Media (South Africa), Kwani? (Kenya), Langaa Research and Publishing CIG (Cameroon) and Sub-Saharan Publishers (Ghana).
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...
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