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Hard to believe it’s nearly one year since Tope Folarin’s beautiful story won the Caine Prize for African Writing. Folarin’s win made the summer of 2013 so much more interesting.

An American born of Nigerian parents, Folarin compelled many in the African literary community to reconsider their assumptions about who counts as an African writer.

Here we are in 2014 and another edition of the prize is about to begin. The official kick-off is slated for tomorrow when Wole Soyinka announces the five shortlisted stories at the inauguration of Port Harcourt as the new World Book Capital.

Literary prizes are great not because they decide on what constitutes great fiction but because they give new writers a space to share their work with a global audience.

What I love about the Caine Prize is that the organizers have figured out how to get the African literary community involved and invested in the success of the award.

Shortlisted stories are circulated online. Bloggers are encouraged to review the stories. These reviews become the basis for rich and lively conversations about contemporary African fiction.

I feel giddy thinking about all the cool stuff we have planned here at Brittle Paper—reviews of shortlisted stories, Q&As with the authors, and so much more. In the past few days, I’ve been sending emails, asking around to see who would like to be part of a 5-member review team. 

I’m pleased to announce that Richard Ali, Aaron Bady, Nick Ochiel, Pearl Osibu, and Kola Tubosun have all agreed to review the shortlisted stories for Brittle Paper. Expect sharp, provocative, and nuanced reviews.

Stay tuned to Brittle Paper for updates on all the fun and festivities around the 2014 edition of the Caine Prize for African Writing.  


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Ainehi Edoro is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she teaches African literature. She received her doctorate at Duke University. She is the founder and editor of Brittle Paper and series editor of Ohio University Press’s Modern African Writer’s imprint.

6 Responses to “Waiting for the 2014 Caine Prize Shortlist” Subscribe

  1. Nambozo April 21, 2014 at 5:52 am #

    I’m so glad people are blogging the Caine again. I took part last year and it was thrilling. I’ve been asking around for this year and didn’t get any response so I’m glad you’re doing it. Looking forward to reading the posts.

  2. Ainehi Edoro April 21, 2014 at 11:40 am #

    Thanks Nambazo. Do you plan on writing a review this time?

  3. Young April 21, 2014 at 12:31 pm #

    I thought Elnathan John’s “Bayan Layi” should’ve won.

  4. nkiacha atemnkeng April 21, 2014 at 7:21 pm #

    Great review initiative…..Young, all the five stories were worthy winners. you are entitled to your opinion anyway. my favourite was “The Whispering Trees” (favourite of the reading populace too) very heartfelt, strongly emotional, beautiful pacing, well layered unveiing the different phases of Salim’s emotions, a little blend of magical realism thus spewing forth an unexpected ending and a pleasant surprise at the end

  5. Jane Easley April 22, 2014 at 6:52 am #

    When is the 2014 short list announced?

  6. Ainehi Edoro April 24, 2014 at 9:56 am #

    Hi Jane. It’s been announced.


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