Over the past few weeks since Caine Prize shortlist was out, there has been much speculation on the writer that would emerge the winner of this year Caine Prize. This year, the shortlist has received rave reviews weighing in different verdicts from different quarters. More importantly, three Nigerians are on the list with Lesley Arimah coming once again and Arinze Ifeakandu and Chikodili Emelumadu completing the trio.
The panel of judges chaired by Nii Ayikwei Parkes has announced Bushra al-Fadil as the winner of the £10,000 prize competition with his short story titled “The Story of the Girl Whose Bird Flew Away” which is a modern exploration of how assaulted from all sides we are, and how unsupported by those we would turn to for solace we can became mentally exiled in our own lands, edging in to a fantasy existence where we seek to cling to a sort of freedom until ultimately we slip into physical exile.
Bushra al-Fadil is a Sudanese writer residing in Saudi Arabia. His most recent collection of short stories, Above a City’s Sky was published in 2012, the same year Bushra won the al-Tayeb Salih Short Story Award. Bushra holds a PhD in Russian language and literature.
As a translated story, the prize money will be split – with £7,000 going to Bushra and £3,000 to the translator, Max Shmookler. As previous winner, al-Fadil will enjoy a stay at Georgetown University, Open Book Festival in Cape Town, and would also guest Ake Literary Festival this year.
Caine Prize has become one of the most celebrated prizes in African literature with a record of winners such as Rotimi Babatunde and Binyavanga Wainana. Last year, Lidudumalingani won the prize and has since gone to win another literary laurel, Miles Morland Scholarship.