Ken Barris (South Africa) for ‘The Life of Worm’ from New Writing from Africa 2009.
Lily Mabura (Kenya) for ‘How Shall We Kill the Bishop? From Wasafiri 53
Namwali Serpell (Zambia) for Muzungu’ from The Best American Short Stories 2009.
Alex Smith (SA) for Soulmates from New Writing From Africa 2009
Olufemi Terry (Sierra Leone) for ‘Stickfighting Days’ from Chimurenga 12/13.
Aside from the fact that Sierra Leone’s Olufemi Terry has a Yoruba first name that will make a few Nigerians look twice, there’s no Nigerian on this year’s shortlist, I'm afraid.
I remember having read Lily Mabura’s interestingly titled ‘How Shall We Kill The Bishop’ in Wasafiri some 2 years ago, even went as far as loading the opening page (see image) from the journal on Wordsbody, back then. Mabura’s notable writing nods back then were good showings in the Fish & Glimmer Train competitions. The Caine may be a giant leap…
It’s also interesting to see a shortlisted story for ‘African Fiction’ from ‘The Best American Short Stories’ anthology…
Chair of judges Fiammetta Rocco said of this year’s shortlist: “Africa has so 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.”
All on the panel of judges are: Ellah Allfrey (Deputy Editor at Granta), Professor Jon Cook and Samantha Pinto.
The shortlisted writers will read at the Royal Over-Seas League in London on Friday July 2; and at the South Bank Centre (as part of the London Literature Festival) on July 4.
The winner of the 11th Caine Prize for African Writing will be announced at an award dinner at the Bodleian Library in Oxford on July 5.