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Now Available: The 2015 Caine Prize Anthology, Lusaka Punk and Other Stories

Lusaka Punk and Other StoriesThe new Caine Prize for African Writing anthology, Lusaka Punk and Other Stories, is now available from Jacana:

Now entering its 16th year, the Caine Prize is Africa’s leading literary prize, and is awarded to a short story by an African writer published in English, whether in Africa or elsewhere.

This collection brings together the five 2015 shortlisted stories, along with stories written at the Caine Prize Writers’ Workshop, which took place in Ghana in April 2015.

Zambia’s Namwali Serpell won the 2015 Caine Prize for her short story entitled “The Sack” from Africa39 (Bloomsbury, London, 2014).

Chair of Judges Zoë Wicomb announced Serpell as the winner of the £10,000 prize at a dinner held on Monday, 6 July, at the Bodleian Library in Oxford.

“The Sack” explores a world where dreams and reality are both claustrophobic and dark. The relationship between two men and an absent woman are explored though troubled interactions and power relationships which jar with the views held by the characters.

Wicomb praised the story, saying, “From a very strong shortlist we have picked an extraordinary story about the aftermath of revolution with its liberatory promises shattered. It makes demands on the reader and challenges conventions of the genre. It yields fresh meaning with every reading.

“Formally innovative, stylistically stunning, haunting and enigmatic in its effects. ‘The Sack’ is a truly luminous winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing.”

Serpell’s first published story, “Muzungu,” was selected for the Best American Short Stories 2009 and shortlisted for the 2010 Caine Prize for African Writing. In 2014, she was selected as one of the most promising African writers for the Africa 39 anthology, a project of the Hay Festival. Her writing has appeared in Tin House, The Believer, n+1, McSweeney’s (forthcoming), Bidoun, Callaloo, The San Francisco Chronicle, The LA Review of Books, and The Guardian. She is an associate professor in the University of California, Berkeley English department; her first book of literary criticism, Seven Modes of Uncertainty, was published in 2014.

Also shortlisted were:

  • Segun Afolabi (Nigeria) for “The Folded Leaf” in Wasafiri (Wasafiri, London, 2014)
    - Caine Prize winner 2005 for “Monday Morning”
    Read “The Folded Leaf” here
  • Elnathan John (Nigeria) for “Flying” in Per Contra (Per Contra, International, 2014)
    - Shortlisted in 2013 for “Bayan Layi”
    Read “Flying” here
  • Masande Ntshanga (South Africa) for “Space” in Twenty in 20 (Times Media, South Africa, 2014)
    Read “Space” here

The panel of judges was chaired by Wicomb, the recipient of Yale’s 2013 Windham-Campbell Prize for iction. Wicomb’s works of fiction are You Can’t Get Lost in Cape Town, David’s Story, Playing in the Light, The One That Got Away and October. She currently lives in Scotland where she is Emeritus Professor in English Studies at Strathclyde University. Her critical work is on Postcolonial theory and South African writing and culture.

Alongside Wicomb on the panel of judges were Neel Mukherjee, author of the award-winning debut novel A Life Apart (2010) and the Man Booker Prize-shortlisted The Lives of Others (2014); Brian Chikwava, author and former winner of the Caine Prize (2004); Zeinab Badawi, the prominent broadcaster and Chair of the Royal African Society; and Cóilín Parsons, Assistant Professor of English at Georgetown University who has written on Irish, South African and Indian literature.

Once again the winner of the Caine Prize will be given the opportunity to take up a month’s residence at Georgetown University, as a Writer-in-Residence at the Lannan Center for Poetics and Social Practice. Each shortlisted writer will also receive £500. The winner is invited to take part in the Open Book Festival in Cape Town, Storymoja in Nairobi and Ake Festival in Abeokuta, Nigeria.

Last year the Caine Prize was won by Kenyan writer Okwiri Oduor. She was a 2014 MacDowell Colony fellow, has been accepted on the Iowa Writing Programme and is currently at work on her debut novel.

Previous winners are Sudan’s Leila Aboulela (2000), Nigerian Helon Habila (2001), Kenyan Binyavanga Wainaina (2002), Kenyan Yvonne Owuor (2003), Zimbabwean Brian Chikwava (2004), Nigerian Segun Afolabi (2005), South African Mary Watson (2006), Ugandan Monica Arac de Nyeko (2007), South African Henrietta Rose-Innes (2008), Nigerian EC Osondu (2009), Sierra Leonean Olufemi Terry (2010), Zimbabwean NoViolet Bulawayo (2011), Nigerian Tope Folarin (2013).
 
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