The shortlist for the 2014 Caine Prize for African Writing has been announced today (Tuesday 22 April) by Nobel Prize winner and Patron of the Caine Prize Professor Wole Soyinka, as part of the opening ceremonies for the UNESCO World Book Capital 2014 celebration in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
To commemorate fifteen years of the Caine Prize this year, £500 will be awarded to each shortlisted writer according to the post issued on the official 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.”
The winner of the £10,000 prize is to be announced at a celebratory dinner at the Bodleian Library, Oxford, on Monday 14 July. The 2014 shortlist comprises:
The 2014 shortlist comprises:
Diane Awerbuck (South Africa) “Phosphorescence” in Cabin Fever (Umuzi, Cape Town. 2011)
Efemia Chela (Ghana/Zambia) “Chicken” in Feast, Famine and Potluck (Short Story Day Africa, South Africa. 2013)
Tendai Huchu (Zimbabwe) “The Intervention” in Open Road Review, issue 7, New Delhi. 2013
Billy Kahora (Kenya) “The Gorilla’s Apprentice” in Granta (London. 2010)
Okwiri Oduor (Kenya) “My Father’s Head” in Feast, Famine and Potluck (Short Story Day Africa, South Africa. 2013).