Writings of the general word's body

Monday, July 07, 2008

New Reads - Caine Special

One of the niggly things about the Caine Prize season at times is that shortlisted stories aren't always widely available. So you'll be at a reading by the writers who read excerpts and engage in discussions around stories which half the audience havent read, which must be somewhat frustrating for both writers and readers alike. Especially when the story in question is not available online. Not so this year.
Thanks to New Internationalist, publishers of the Caine anthologies, you can read of all 5 stories online (downloadable in pdf format).

One of these stories will win the Caine Prize tonight...


SMC said...

Henrietta Rose-Innes won the Caine Prize for her story "Poison".

Goy said...

Thanks for the links - much appreciated!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to the winner. There was something odd about this year's award though. The very careful composition of the shortlist (with 3 entries from one book drawn from a competition in which the Caine winner had already come out tops) and the particular selection of judges, all ensured there could only be one outcome.

And what does Hannah Pool know about judging a literary prize if I may ask? Didn't she write a beauty column for The Guardian? It's only a step higher than Lily Allen for the Orange Prize.

My tuppence.

SMC said...

@ Anonymous,

I agree. When I saw the shortlist, I thought only one of three (and not of 5) could win. The three being Rose-Innes, the Nigerian and the Ghanaian. I thought there is no way that any of the other two that came from the African Pens anthology could beat Rose-Innes after J.M.Coetzee himself adjudged Rose-Innes's story the winner of the SA PEN Literary Award competition of which the other two were entrants (in addition to which Coetzee is a patron of the Caine prize). Moreover, Rose-Innes was his student. Don't get me wrong, I am not in anyway saying that he directly influenced the selection or the winner. I am just saying that it would have been almost impossible for the judges to ignore a story (and as regards the shortlist, stories) which had been given the nudge and high praise from a Nobel Prize winning patron (as if they had selected one of the other 2 Pen entrants, it might be seen as a case of "are they claiming to know better than a Nobel Prize winner who has been adjudged to be an 'expert' in the literary field?).

I do wonder why Petina Gappah's story "At the Sound of the Last Post" from the African Pens Anthology (which won her the second prize behind Rose-Innes in the SA PEN Literary Award competition) was not in the shortlist line-up. I don't know if it was never submitted by the publisher for the Caine Prize or if it was and did not make the shortlist.

Be that as it may, Rose-Innes's story was a good one, so I guess it worked out alright.

Komanche said...

South Africa now has 2 Caine winners. Great. We are the best writing nation on the continent.

SMC said...

@ Komanche,

Sure it is, being only the third country after Kenya and Nigeria to have had citizens who won the Caine prize twice (In your dreams I'd say). Talent abounds all over the continent.

Wordsbody said...


You Got Told!

Ovo said...

Yeah, talents are abound everywhere in the continent. African writers need more literary prizes like the Caine.

I wondered about Petina's story too. This year's affair had an air predictability around it.

Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T said...

my books are listed on my blog

well maybe we should also look at other issues as well, in particular as it relates to re-establishing a manufacturing base here.

Nice spot u have here, hope u don’t mind the drive by, do chk me out one day

rawdawgbuffalo and if u like what u read, maybe u will come back, even Blog Roll Me