The shortlist for the Caine Prize for African Writing 2019 has been announced today May 20, 2019. The writers shortlisted are Lesley Nneka Arimah, Meron Hadero, Cherrie Kandie, Ngwah-Mbo Nana Nkweti, and Tochukwu Emmanuel Okafor.
The Caine Prize, one of the most sought after in African writing, is awarded annually for a short story by an African writer published in English. 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), 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).
The journey for this year’s prize started with the announcement of the judging panel in December 2018 led by Peter Kimani alongside Sefi Atta, Margie Orford, Olufemi Terry, and Scott Taylor.
The shortlist for the Caine Prize 2019 announced today features stories that tackle “the ordinary in an extraordinary manner” and celebrate the diversity of the African short-story writing tradition for the twentieth edition of the Prize.
Chair of judges, Kenyan author Dr Peter Kimani said of the five-writer shortlist, “This is a special year for the Caine Prize for African Writing, as it marks its twentieth anniversary. It’s a milestone that affords for both a reflection on the past, and a projection into the future.”
“The five writers on this year’s shortlist carry on with that tradition, not just in their inventiveness in imagining the world, but also in tackling the ordinary in an extraordinary manner, in a wide-range of issues: gender and generation; home and exile; sexuality and religion; love and hate; happiness and heartbreak,” he added.
The shortlisted writers for the 2019 Caine Prize are:
- Lesley Nneka Arimah (Nigeria)for ‘Skinned’, published in McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, Issue 53 (2018).
- Meron Hadero (Ethiopia)for ‘The Wall’, published in McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, Issue 52 (2018).
- Cherrie Kandie (Kenya)for ‘Sew My Mouth’, published in ID Identity: New Short Fiction From Africa (2018).
- Ngwah-Mbo Nana Nkweti (Cameroon)for ‘It Takes A Village Some Say’, published in The Baffler (2017).
- Tochukwu Emmanuel Okafor (Nigeria) for ‘All Our Lives’, published in ID Identity: New Short Fiction From Africa (2018).
The shortlisted stories will be printed by New Internationalist in a special publication to mark the twentieth Caine Prize award dinner, and through co-publishers in 16 African countries who receive a print-ready PDF free of charge.
The winner of this year’s £10,000 prize will be announced at an award ceremony and dinner in the Beveridge Hall at Senate House, SOAS, on Monday 8 July 2018 – in partnership with SOAS, University of London. Each shortlisted writer will also receive £500.