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We are delighted to join in kicking off the 17th edition of the Caine Prize for African Fiction.

A few days ago, the organizers revealed the shortlisted writers. All five writers are now in the running for the £10,000 prize, which will be awarded on July 4 at one of the Bodleian Libraries in Oxford.

The one surprise in the list is Tope Folarin, who is a returning champion. Folarin won the Caine Prize in 2013. He has now been re-shortlisted for the prize and stands the chance of winning it a second time. He is definitely one to watch.

The other Nigerian shortlistee is Lesley Nneka Arimah. Her writing defies generic category—a mashup of scifi, fantasy, and speculative fiction.

Lidudumalingani is a Cape Town filmmaker with a stunningly beautiful Instagram page. It’s worth checking out.

The Zimbabwean shortlistee, Bongani Kona, is pursing a masters in creative writing at the University of Cape Town and writes for Chimurenga.

Abdul Adan represents both Somalia and Kenya. It’s nice to know that he is one of the founding members of the Jalada collective—a group of young visionaries doing amazing things with African literature.

Chair of Judges Delia Jarrett-Macauley praises the writers on the list for exploring formal innovation as opposed to political themes.

“The high standard of the entries was clear,” writes Jarrett-Macauley, “particularly noteworthy was the increasing number of fantasy fictions [with] the sci-fi trend resonating in several excellent stories.”

The Caine Prize was first awarded in 2000. Today, it is recognized as a leading African literary institution.

Congrats to all five authors. May the best writer win!

Scroll down to read the shortlisted stories. Let us know what you think in the comment section.



Abdul Adan (Somalia/Kenya)

Title: “The Lifebloom Gift”

Read here

lesley arima

Name: Lesley Nneka Arimah

Country: Nigeria

Title: “What it Means When a Man Falls From the Sky”

Read here


Tope Folarin (Nigeria)

Title: “Genesis” shortlisted for “Genesis” published in Callaloo (Johns Hopkins University Press, USA, 2014)

Read here


Bongani Kona (Zimbabwe)

Title: “At Your Requiem”

Read here


Lidudumalingani (South Africa)

Title: “Memories We Lost”

Read here


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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

6 Responses to “#CainePrize2016 | The Five Shortlisted Writers Revealed” Subscribe

  1. Eme 2016/05/12 at 02:37 #

    There’s a typo in the very first sentence – ‘delight’ instead of ‘delighted’.

    Congrats to the shortlisted writers. May the luckiest person win.

  2. Felicia Reevers 2016/05/12 at 04:50 #

    Congratulations to the nominees!

  3. Ainehi Edoro 2016/05/12 at 05:14 #

    Hi Eme,

    Thanks so much for spotting that!

  4. Nnamdi 2016/05/12 at 13:56 #

    Leslie Nneka! I’ve been following her writing and they’re lovely (and weird as some of her tweets)!

    I wish her good luck!

  5. Chiziterem 2016/05/14 at 15:52 #

    Read these stories. I’m officially adding Abdul Adan to my “must follow” list.

    All these stories are awesome, and I wish them all success.

  6. Yvonne 2016/05/15 at 01:36 #

    The two Nigerian stories are really boring ….am already discouraged to read the remaining 3. I actually enjoyed Miracle from Tope 3yrs ago n am reading Genesis -wondering if I should just endure the fuel queue or read on. Well Lesley’s stories have always been strange so am not surprised.

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