Yesterday, at the Bodleian Library in Oxford, Nigerian writer, Tope Folarin was announced as the 14th winner of the coverted Caine Prize for African
Writing for his short story “Miracle”
with an acompanied 10,000 Pounds as cash prize.
Gus Casely-Hayford, the Chair of the
judges stated “Tope Folarin’s ‘Miracle’ is another superb Caine Prize winner – a delightful and beautifully paced narrative, that is exquisitely observed and utterly compelling“.
The first Nigerian to win the Caine Prize is the popular multiple award winning novelist Helon Habila in 2001. Previous shortlisted Nigerian writers include the famous Nigerian authors Chimamanda
Ngozi Adichie in 2002; Chika Unigwe in 2004, who was also shortlisted in 2006 for the Dutch equivalent of the Orange Prize for her novel translated into Dutch, “de fenicks”; Ike Okonta in 2005; Sefi Atta in 2006 made famous for her Everything Good Will Come,
Swallow and the short story collection News From Home. Uttah born Tope Folarin (who lives and works in Washington DC) the recipient of writing fellowships from the Institute for Policy Studies and Callaloo also serves on the board of the Hurston/Wright Foundation. Tope was educated at Morehouse College, and the University of Oxford, where he earned two Master’s degrees as a Rhodes Scholar.
Tope was shortlisted with 3 other Nigerians and a Sierra Leonean for the prize and he came out ahead.
The shortlisted writers include:
1) Tope Folarin (Nigeria) ‘Miracle’ from Transition, Issue 109 (Bloomington, 2012)
2) Pede Hollist (Sierra Leone) ‘Foreign Aid’ from Journal of Progressive Human Services, Vol.23.3 (Philadelphia, 2012)
3) Abubakar Adam Ibrahim (Nigeria) ‘The Whispering Trees’ from The Whispering Trees, published by Parrésia Publishers (Lagos, 2012)
4) Elnathan John (A Nigerian famous for his satirical and humorous pieces) ‘Bayan Layi’ from Per Contra, Issue 25 (USA, 2012)
5) Chinelo Okparanta (Nigeria) ‘America’ from Granta, Issue 118 (London, 2012). So glad my “to-read” list just grew in number…..