Celebrating East African Writing!
Kenyan writer, Lily Mabura, has made the shortlist for the prestigious Caine Prize of 2010!
Lily Mabura received her MFA in Creative Writing (Fiction) from the University of Idaho and is currently completing a PhD in Creative Writing (Fiction) and Africana Literature at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Her dissertation project includes a novel titled House on a Jade Sea, an excerpt of which is forthcoming in Stand Magazine, UK. She has received International Fellowships from AAUW and P.E.O International. Her literary awards include the Jomo Kenyatta Prize for Literature and Kenya’s National Book Week Literary Award. Lily’s short stories have appeared in literary journals such as PRISM international, Wasafiri, Callaloo, and the 2007 Fish Anthology. Other publications include a novel, The Pretoria Conspiracy, and three children’s books: Saleh Kanta and the Cavaliers, Seth the Silly Gorilla, and Ali the Little Sultan.
The shortlist for the 2010 Caine Prize for African Writing was announced Monday 26th April, 2010. The Caine Prize, widely known as the ‘African Booker’ and regarded as Africa’s leading literary award, is now in its eleventh year. The chair of judges, The Economist editor Fiammetta Rocco, said: “Africa has much to be proud of in these five writers. Not only are their stories all confident, ambitious and skillfully written, each one boasts an added dimension – a voice, character or particular emotional connection – that makes it uniquely powerful.”
Selected from 115 entries from 13 African countries, the shortlist is once again a reflection of the Caine Prize’s Pan-African reach. The winner of the £10,000 prize is to be announced at a celebratory dinner at the Bodleian Library, Oxford, on Monday 5 July.
The 2010 shortlist comprises:
Ken Barris (S Africa) ‘The Life of Worm’ from ‘New Writing from Africa 2009′, published by Johnson & King James Books, Cape Town.
Lily Mabura (Kenya) ‘How Shall We Kill the Bishop?’ from ‘Wasafiri’ No53, Spring 2008.
Namwali Serpell (Zambia) ‘Muzungu’ from ‘The Best American Short Stories 2009′, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston MA.
Alex Smith (S Africa) ‘Soulmates’ from ‘New Writing from Africa 2009′ [see above]
Olufemi Terry (Sierra Leone) ‘Stickfighting Days’ from ‘Chimurenga’ vol 12/13, Cape Town 2008.
Joining Fiammetta on the judging panel this year are Granta deputy editor Ellah Allfrey, Professor Jon Cook of the University of East Anglia, and Georgetown University professor Samantha Pinto.
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, Washington DC, as a ‘Caine Prize/Georgetown University Writer-in-Residence’. The award will cover all travel and living expenses.
Last year the Caine Prize was won by Nigerian writer EC Osondu for his short story ‘Waiting’ from Guernicamag.com, October 2008. Chair of judges Nana Yaa Mensah called it “a tour de force describing, from a child’s point of view, the dislocating experience of being a displaced person. It is powerfully written with not an ounce of fat on it – and deeply moving.”
Previous winners include Uganda’s Monica Arac de Nyeko, for Jambula Tree from ‘African Love Stories’, Ayebia Clarke Publishing, 2006, and Brian Chikwava, from Zimbabwe, whose first novel Harare North has just been published by Jonathan Cape.
This year the shortlisted writers will be reading from their work at the Royal Over-Seas League on Friday, 2 July at 7pm and at the London Literature Festival at the Southbank Centre, on Sunday, 4 July at 1pm.