Earlier today, Nigerian nobel laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, in his capacity as the patron for the Caine Prize for African writing, announced the shortlist for the 2014 Caine Prize. The announcement was made in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
Each shortlisted writer will be given £500 in commemoration of 15 years of the Caine Prize.
According to the press release on the Caine Prize website:
The Chair of judges, award-winning author Jackie Kay MBE described the shortlist as, “Compelling, lyrical, thought-provoking and engaging. From a daughter’s unusual way of grieving for her father, to a memorable swim with a grandmother, a young boy’s fascination with a gorilla’s conversation, a dramatic faux family meeting, to a woman who is forced to sell her eggs, the subjects are as diverse as they are entertaining.”
She added, “The standard of entries was exceptionally high so much so that it was actually very difficult for the judges to whittle it down to a shortlist of only five stories. We were heartened by how many entrants were drawn to explorations of a gay narrative. What a golden age for the African short story, and how exciting to see real originality – with so many writers bringing something different to the form.”
On the 14th of July, later this year, a winner will be picked at the Bodleian Library, Oxford. The winner will be awarded a prize of £10,000.
Here is the list of shortlisted writers and their stories.
Diane Awerbuck is the author of Gardening at Night (2003), which was awarded the Commonwealth Best First Book Award (Africa and the Caribbean) and was shortlisted for the International Dublin IMPAC Award.
Her work has been published internationally and translated into a number of languages. Awerbuck develops educational materials, reviews fiction for the South African Sunday Times, and writes for Mail&Guardian’s Thoughtleader. Awerbuck’s collection of short stories, Cabin Fever, was published in 2011. Her most recent full-length work, Home Remedies, was published in 2012. Her doctoral work and non-fiction deal with trauma, narrative and the public sphere.
Efemia Chela was born in Chikankata, Zambia in 1991, but grew up in England, Ghana, Botswana and South Africa. She graduated with a BA in French, Politics and Classical Civilisations from Rhodes University. She completed part of her Politics Honours at Institut D’Etudes Politiques in Aix-En-Provence, France.
When she grows up she would like to be a midwife of great literature, a better writer, a translator, subtitler and graphic novelist.
She is married to a film camera. They go everywhere together and have many square children. She gets her thrills from remotely attending international fashion weeks, artistic intertextuality, old black and white movies and tasting new cuisines.
Efemia lives in Cape Town and is currently unemployed which allows her to focus on her writing. “Chicken” was her first published story and it won third place in the Short Story Day Africa 2013 competition, “Feast, Famine and Potluck”.
Tendai Huchu is the author of The Hairdresser of Harare. His short fiction and nonfiction has appeared in Warscapes, Wasafiri, The Africa Report, The Zimbabwean, The Open Road Review, Kwani?05, A View from Here and numerous other publications. In 2013 he received a Hawthornden Fellowship and a Sacatar Fellowship. His next novel will be The Maestro, The Magistrate, & The Mathematician.
The Shortlisted Story: “The Intervention” in Open Road Review, issue 7, New Delhi. 2013
Billy Kahora is the managing editor of the Kenyan literary journal Kwani? and the author of The True Story of David Munyakei (2009). His writing has appeared in Granta, Kwani?, Chimurenga and Vanity Fair. His short story ‘Urban Zoning’ was shortlisted in 2012 for the Caine Prize and in 2007 ‘Treadmill Love’, was highly commended by the Caine Prize judges. He is working on a novel titled, The Applications and is writing a book on Juba.
Okwiri Oduor was born in Nairobi. She is a 2014 MacDowell Colony fellow. She is currently at work on her debut novel.
Congratulations to the shortlisted writers. We look forward to the awards ceremony.