The five-writer shortlist for the 2017 Caine Prize for African Writing has been announced by Chair of judges, award-winning author, poet and editor, Nii Ayikwei Parkes. The list includes three amazing women writers we are thrilled to tell you about. Read all about them below.
Lesley Nneka Arimah (Nigeria) for ‘Who Will Greet You At Home’ published in The New Yorker (USA. 2015).
Lesley Nneka Arimah was born in the UK and grew up wherever her father was stationed for work, which was sometimes Nigeria, sometimes not. She has received grants and awards from Commonwealth Writers, AWP, the Elizabeth George Foundation, the Jerome Foundation and others for her writings. She currently lives in Minneapolis.
Lesley Nneka Arimah is the author of What It Means When A Man Falls from the Sky, a collection of stories published by Riverhead Books (US) and Tinder Press (UK), 2017. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, Per Contra and other publications. Lesley was shortlisted for the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2016 and was a participant in the Caine Prize 2017 workshop in Tanzania.
Chikodili Emelumadu (Nigeria) for ‘Bush Baby’ published in African Monsters and edited by Margaret Helgadottir and Jo Thomas (Fox Spirit Books, USA. 2015).
Chikodili Emelumadu is a Nigerian writer, broadcaster and blogger living in London. She has a BA in English language and literature from Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka and an MA in Cross Cultural Communications and International Relations from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. She is a 2015 Shirley Jackson nominee.
Chikodili’s work has appeared in One Throne, Omenana, Apex, Eclectica, Luna Station Quarterly and the interactive fiction magazine, Sub-Q. Chikodili is working on her novel.
Read Bush Baby.
Magogodi oaMphela Makhene (South Africa) for ‘The Virus’ published in The Harvard Review 49 (Houghton Library Harvard University, USA. 2016).
Born in Soweto, South Africa, Magogodi oaMphela Makhene came of age during the turbulent years marking the fall of apartheid. She was raised in Johannesburg, eventually making her way to New York, which she now also calls home.
Magogodi is currently completing a collection of inter-woven short stories exploring the inner lives and loves of ordinary South Africans making a life in a time and place most often inhospitable to their journeys.
In addition to fiction, Magogodi writes non-fiction and speaks widely. She holds graduate degrees from NYU, where she was a Reynolds Fellow for Social Entrepreneurship, and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was a Truman Capote Fellow and taught Creative Writing. Her work was awarded First Prize for the Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics. In 2016, she won the David Relin Prize for Fiction.
Magogodi’s work has appeared in Ploughshares and Elie Wiesel’s An Ethical Compass, and has been recognised by the NYU Reynolds Program for Social Entrepreneurship, the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity and the Truman Capote Fellowship at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she earned her MFA. Magogodi is a recipient of the David Relin Prize for Fiction and is currently working on a collection of interwoven stories exploring the inner lives and loves of ordinary South Africans.
Read The Virus
Previous female winners are: Sudan’s Leila Aboulela (2000); Kenya’s Yvonne Owuor (2003); South Africa’s Mary Watson (2006); Uganda’s Monica Arac de Nyeko (2007); South Africa’s Henrietta Rose-Innes (2008); Zimbabwe’s NoViolet Bulawayo (2011); Kenya’s Okwiri Oduor (2014) and Zambia’s Namwali Serpell (2015).
About Caine Prize
The Caine Prize for African Writing is a registered charity whose aim is to bring African writing to a wider audience using our annual literary award. The winner of the Caine Prize will receive £10,000 and the others will receive £500 pounds each. Check out the full 2017 shortlist here.
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