2023 Caine Prize for African Writing announces shortlist

The Caine Prize for African Writing has announced the shortlisted writers for its 2023 edition. 

The list includes five short stories that showcase the vibrancy, variety, and splendor of creative talent among writers of African descent. The shortlisted writers are Yejide Kilanko from Nigeria for “This Tangible Thing”, Tlotlo Tsamaase from Botswana for “Peeling Time (Deluxe Edition)”, Mame Bougouma Diene and Woppa Diallo from Senegal for “A Soul of Small Places”, and Ekemini Pius from Nigeria for “‘Daughters, By Our Hands”. 

The stories were selected by a panel of judges who described them as “captivating”. 

Fareda Banda, Chair of Judges, and a professor of law at SOAS, University of London, expressed her thoughts on the shortlist saying, “Together we have read, discussed and wrestled an eligible submission list of 230 stories down to the final five. This has not been an easy task. The entries showed the depth and scope of writing on the continent and beyond.

“The stories spanned generations, genres and themes. They challenged, stimulated, shocked, surprised and delighted us in equal measure. The five shortlisted embrace speculative fiction and artivism (using art as a form of activism). Stories of gender-based violence and reproductive autonomy highlight the power of engaging and innovative/original writing. Love is embodied in stories of grandmothers passing on inter-generational wisdom. The sense of alienation engendered by teenage diasporic liminality sits alongside comedic outrage about the perceived status downgrade in moving from city to village. Each story will have its fans and advocates-we loved them all.”

This year’s submissions, according to the organiser, encompassed a diverse range of talent from 28 different countries, including Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Egypt, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

The Caine Prize for African Writing is a prestigious literary award that celebrates African writers and their work.


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