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”
Name: Lesley Nneka Arimah
Title: “What it Means When a Man Falls From the Sky”
Tope Folarin (Nigeria)
Title: “Genesis” shortlisted for “Genesis” published in Callaloo (Johns Hopkins University Press, USA, 2014)
Bongani Kona (Zimbabwe)
Title: “At Your Requiem”
Lidudumalingani (South Africa)
Title: “Memories We Lost”