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Three Nigerian writers make 2017 Caine Prize shortlist


Three Nigerian writers make 2017 Caine Prize shortlist

Three Nigerians have been shortlisted for the 2017 Caine Prize for African Writing.

They are Lesley Nneka Arimah, Chikodili Emelumadu, and Arinze Ifeakandu.

Other shortlisted writers are Magogodi oaMphela Makhene (South Africa) and Bushra al-Fadil (Sudan).

Nii Ayikwei Parkes, chair of 2017 Caine Prize judges and award-winning author, made the announcement.

Parkes said: “It is thus a huge pleasure to have read a pile of entries where the majority were published on the African continent and to have a translated story on the shortlist.

“Reading the full complement of submissions told us that our continent is concerned with transition and identity, that where the politicians are actively closing their eyes as the world changes around us, our writers are engaging and imagining bold new futures.”

This year’s shortlist includes a former Caine Prize finalist and features a story translated from Arabic for only the second time in the 18-year history of the Prize.

The 2017 shortlist includes:

  • Lesley Nneka Arimah (Nigeria) for ‘Who Will Greet You At Home’ published in The New Yorker (USA. 2015). Lesley was shortlisted for the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2016.
  • Chikodili Emelumadu (Nigeria) for ‘Bush Baby’ published in African Monsters, edited by Margarét Helgadóttir and Jo Thomas (Fox Spirit Books, UK. 2015).
  • Arinze Ifeakandu (Nigeria) for ‘God’s Children Are Little Broken Things’ published in A Public Space 24 (A Public Space Literary Projects Inc., USA. 2016).
  • Bushra al-Fadil (Sudan) for ‘The Story of the Girl whose Birds Flew Away’, translated by Max Shmookler, published in The Book of Khartoum – A City in Short Fiction Raph Cormack & Max Shmookler (Comma Press, UK. 2016).
  • Magogodi oaMphela Makhene (South Africa) for ‘The Virus’ published in The Harvard Review 49 (Houghton Library Harvard University, USA. 2016).

Other judges joining Parkes include the 2007 Caine Prize winner, Monica Arac de Nyeko; Libyan author and human rights campaigner, Ghazi Gheblawi; distinguished African literary scholar, Dr Ranka Primorac, University of Southampton; and accomplished author and Chair of the English Department at Georgetown University, Professor Ricardo Ortiz.

The winner of the Caine Prize will be announced at an award ceremony and dinner at Senate House Library, London, on Monday, July 3, 2017. He or she will be awarded the sum of £10,000, while other shortlisted writers will receive the sum of £500.

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