AKO Caine Prize releases 2020 shortlist

The AKO Caine Prize for African Writing has recently announced  its shortlist for this year’s award.

Perhaps one of the most highly-anticipated literary prizes on the continent, the AKO Caine Prize celebrates 20 years of honouring diverse and high-calibre African writers including the likes of the lateBinyavanga Wainaina, Tope Folarin, No Violet Bulawayo and Namwali Serpell.

This year’s shortlist features writers who hail from Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania and Namibia. Erica Sugo Anyadike, Rémy Ngamije, Chikodili Emelumadu, Irenosen Okojie and Jowhor Ile were all selected virtually by a panel of judges due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

Describing this year’s shortlist, chairperson of the judging panel and Director of The Africa Centre, Kenneth Olumuyiwa Tharp CBE 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.”

Tharp adds that, “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.”

The winner will be announced later this year.

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