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The 2013 Caine Prize for African Writing Shortlist

The Whispering TreesAfrican VioletAlert! The shortlist for the Thirteenth Caine Prize for African Writing has just been announced.

This year’s list is devoid of South African entries but includes an unprecedented four Nigerian writers and one from Sierra Leone. It would seem that Rotimi Babatunde, last year’s Nigerian winner, has spurred on his compatriots.

The winner of this year’s £10,000 prize will be announced on 8 July at Bodleian Library, Oxford.

BOOK LIVE sends its congratulations to the shortlistees, as follows:

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Press release

The shortlist for the 2013 Caine Prize for African Writing has been announced today (Wednesday 15 May) – and among the five stories chosen are an unprecedented four Nigerian entries.

The Chair of judges, art historian and broadcaster, Gus Casely-Hayford said, “The shortlist was selected from 96 entries from 16 African countries. They are all outstanding African stories that were drawn from an extraordinary body of high quality submissions.”

Gus described the shortlist saying, “The five contrasting titles interrogate aspects of things that we might feel we know of Africa – violence, religion, corruption, family, community – but these are subjects that are deconstructed and beautifully remade. These are challenging, arresting, provocative stories of a continent and its descendants captured at a time of burgeoning change.”

The winner of the £10,000 prize is to be announced at a celebratory dinner at the Bodleian Library, Oxford, on Monday 8 July.

The 2013 shortlist comprises:

- Elnathan John (Nigeria) ‘Bayan Layi’ from Per Contra, Issue 25 (USA, 2012) www.percontra.net

- Tope Folarin (Nigeria) ‘Miracle’ from Transition, Issue 109 (Bloomington, 2012) http://dubois.fas.harvard.edu/transition-magazine

- Pede Hollist (Sierra Leone) ‘Foreign Aid’ from Journal of Progressive Human Services, Vol. 23.3 (Philadelphia, 2012) http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/wphs20#.UZOV4bVlk_g

- Abubakar Adam Ibrahim (Nigeria) ‘The Whispering Trees’ from The Whispering Trees, published by Parrésia Publishers (Lagos, 2012) http://www.parresiapublishers.com/

- Chinelo Okparanta (Nigeria) ‘America’ from Granta, Issue 118 (London, 2012) www.granta.com

As always the stories will be available to read online on our website www.caineprize.com and will be published with the 2013 workshop stories in our forthcoming anthology A Memory This Size in July 2013 by New Internationalist and seven co-publishers in Africa.

Alongside Gus on the panel of judges this year are award-winning Nigerian-born artist, Sokari Douglas Camp; author, columnist and Lord Northcliffe Emeritus Professor at UCL, John Sutherland; Assistant Professor at Georgetown University, Nathan Hensley and the winner of the Caine Prize in its inaugural year, Leila Aboulela. Once again, the winner of the £10,000 Caine Prize will be given the opportunity of taking up a month’s residence at Georgetown University, as a Writer-in-Residence at the Lannan Center for Poetics and Social Practice. The award will cover all travel and living expenses. The winner will also be invited to take part in the Open Book Festival in Cape Town in September 2013.

Last year the Caine Prize was won by Nigerian writer Rotimi Babatunde. He has subsequently co-authored a play Feast for the Young Vic and the Royal Court theatres in London.

Dates for the Diary

This year the shortlisted writers will be reading from their work at the Royal Over-Seas League on Thursday, 4 July at 7pm and at the Southbank Centre, on Sunday, 7 July at 6.30pm. On Friday, 5 July at 2-5pm and Saturday, 6 July at 5pm the shortlisted writers will also take part in the Africa Writes Festival at The British Library, organised by ASAUK and the Royal African Society.

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