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Lizzy Attree. Photo credit: The Caine Prize.

After seven years as its Director, Lizzy Attree has left the Caine Prize. A mainstay on the literary scene, the industrious Attree, who succeeded Nick Elam in the position in August 2011, has effectively been the face of the Prize. In 2009, she had organised the Caine Prize 10th Anniversary Tour. In 2014, she co-founded, with Mukoma wa Ngugi, the Mabati Cornell Kiswahili Prize, which offers $5,000 recognitions to fiction and poetry in African languages.

The Caine Prize Board of Trustees released a statement on the development:

Dr Lizzy Attree, who has served as Director of the Caine Prize for African Writing as a part-time consultant for seven years, is leaving the organisation. The Board of Trustees has paid tribute to the work Lizzy has done throughout her tenure, and wishes her well with the Mabati Cornell Kiswahili Prize and her other projects. The Board is grateful for Lizzy’s commitment and contributions to the continued growth of the Caine Prize, which is recognised as a leading literary award. An announcement regarding the future administration of the Prize will follow in due course.

President of the Caine Prize, Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, added her gratitude for and warm appreciation of Dr Attree’s unique achievements for the Prize.

Lizzy Attree has a PhD from School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, obtained with a dissertation titled “The Literary Responses to HIV and AIDS from South Africa and Zimbabwe from 1990-2005.” In 2010, she published Blood on the Page, a collection of interviews with the first African writers to write about HIV and AIDS from Zimbabwe and South Africa. That year also, she became a Visiting Lecturer in the English Department at Rhodes University in South Africa.

Attree’s is the second high-profile departure from a major organisation this year. Last month, the Miles Morland Foundation (MMF) announced that Michela Wrong has stepped down from the position of Literary Director.

Brittle Paper wishes Lizzy Attree the best in her new projects.

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About Otosirieze Obi-Young

View all posts by Otosirieze Obi-Young
Otosirieze Obi-Young is a writer, journalist, & Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. He sits on the judging panels of The Miles Morland Writing Scholarships and of The Gerald Kraak Prize. He is Nonfiction Editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective, which has published volumes including We Are Flowers (2017) and The Inward Gaze (2018). He is Curator at The Art Naija Series, a sequence of e-anthologies of writing and visual art focusing on different aspects of Nigerianness, including Enter Naija: The Book of Places (2016), which explores cities, and Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (2017), which explores professions. His work in queer equality advocacy in literature has been profiled in Literary Hub. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition. He has completed a collection of short stories, You Sing of a Longing, is working on a novel, and is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. He has an M.A. in African Studies and a combined honours B.A. in History & International Studies/English & Literary Studies, both from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He taught English in a private Nigerian university. He is currently nominated for the inaugural The Future Awards Prize for Literature. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts writing and editing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze. When bored, he Googles Rihanna.

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