Out of 148 entries from 22 countries, Caine Prize have announced their shortlist of five writers who would contesting for the prize this year. And it is another surprize of the year. In the list were three Nigerians, a South African and one Sudanese (whose story was translated from Arabic to English). Here are the five authors:
Lesley Nneka Arimah (Nigeria) for “Who Will Greet You At Home” published in The New Yorker (USA, 2015).
Chikodili Emelumadu (Nigeria) for “Bush Baby” published in African Monsters, eds. Margarét Helgadóttir and Jo Thomas (Fox Spirit Books, USA. 2015).
Bushra al-Fadil (Sudan) for “The Story of the Girl whose Birds Flew Away,” translated by Max Shmookler, published in The Book of Khartoum – A City in Short Fiction eds. Raph Cormack & Max Shmookler (Comma Press, UK. 2016).
Arinze Ifeakandu (Nigeria) for “God’s Children Are Little Broken Things” published in A Public Space 24 (A Public Space Literary Projects Inc., USA. 2016).
Magogodi oaMphela Makhene (South Africa) for “The Virus” published in The Harvard Review 49 (Houghton Library Harvard University, USA. 2016).
It would be second consecutive shortlisting of the Nigerian author, Lesley Nneka Arimah‘s, following last year’s inclusion for the title story of her collection, “What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky.” Her story, “Light,” won the 2015 Commonwealth Short Story Prize.
Here is what Nii Parkes, one of the judges, said:
This year’s submissions were a pleasure to read; we were all impressed by the quality and imaginative ambition of the work received. Indeed, there were a dozen stories that did not make the shortlist that would win other competitions there seemed to be a theme of transition in many of the stories. Whether it’s an ancient myth brought to life in a contemporary setting, a cyber attack-triggered wave of migration and colonisation, an insatiable quest for motherhood, an entertaining surreal ride that hints at unspeakable trauma, or the loss of a parent in the midst of a personal identity crisis, these writers juxtapose future, past and present to ask important questions about the world we live in. Although they range in tone from the satirical to the surreal, all five stories on this year’s shortlist are unrelentingly haunting. It has been a wonderful journey so far and we look forward to selecting a winner. It will be a hard job, but I’ve always believed that you can’t go wrong with a Ghanaian at the helm of an international panel.