AKO Caine Prize for African Writing 2020 shortlist announced.

AKO Caine Prize for African Writing 2020 shortlist announced.

The shortlist for the AKO Caine Prize for African Writing 2020 announced today, May 19, 2020, features Erica Sugo Anyadike, Chikodili Emelumadu, Jowhor Ile, Rémy Ngamije, and Irenosen Okojie.

The AKO Caine Prize is awarded annually for a short story by an African writer published in English. It is named after the late Sir Michael Caine, former Chairman of Booker plc and Chairman of the Booker Prize management committee for nearly 25 years. Previous winners have been Leila Aboulela (2000), Helon Habila (2001), Binyavanga Wainaina (2002), Yvonne Owuor (2003), Brian Chikwava (2004), Segun Afolabi (2005), Mary Watson (2006), Monica Arac de Nyeko (2007), Henrietta Rose-Innes (2008), EC Osondu (2009), Olufemi Terry (2010), NoViolet Bulawayo (2011), Rotimi Babatunde (2012), Tope Folarin (2013), Okwiri Oduor (2014), Namwali Serpell (2015), Lidudumalingani Mqobothi (2016), Bushra al-Fadil (2017), and Makena Onjerika (2018), and Lesley Nneka Arimah (2019).

Judging the AKO Caine Prize in 2020 was Kenneth Olumuyiwa Tharp, Director of UK’s The Africa Centre, as chair with support by Audrey Brown, South African broadcast journalist; Gabriel Gbadamosi, Irish-Nigerian poet and playwright; Ebissé Wakjira-Rouw, Ethiopian-born nonfiction editor and policy adviser at the Dutch Council for Culture in the Netherlands, and James Murua, Kenyan based journalist, blogger, podcaster and editor.

While announcing the shortlist for 2020, Kenneth Olumuyiwa Tharp said, “We were energised by the enormous breadth and diversity of the stories we were presented with – all of which collectively did much to challenge the notion of the African and diaspora experience, and its portrayal in fiction, as being one homogeneous whole.

“These brilliant and surprising stories are beautifully crafted, yet they are all completely different from one another. From satire and biting humour, to fiction based on non-fiction, with themes spanning political shenanigans, outcast communities, superstition, and social status, loss, and enduring love. Each of these shortlisted stories speak eloquently to the human condition, and to what it is to be an African, or person of African descent, at the start of the second decade of the 21st century.

“Together, this year’s shortlisted stories signal that African literature is in robust health, and, as demonstrated by the titles alone, never predictable.”

The shortlisted writers for the award and they are:

The writers have reacted to being included in the shortlist.

The AKO Caine Prize had to postpone this year’s annual award ceremony, and hopes to announce the winner of this year’s £10,000 prize in the autumn. Each shortlisted writer will also receive £500.

The shortlisted stories will be published in an anthology, and also through co-publishers in 16 African countries who receive a print-ready PDF free of charge.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.