The Caine Prize for African Writing has released a special edition anthology, celebrating 20 African short stories that have won the prize since inception in 2000. So far, several Nigerians have won the award, including Helon Habila (2001), Segun Afolabi (2005), EC Osondu (2009), Rotimi Babatunde (2012), Tope Folarin (2013), and most recently Lesley Nneka Arimah (2019).
On their website, the Caine Prize said “2020 will be both a year of reflection, and the year we mark our 20th anniversary, it is the year that we look back on 20 years of bringing African stories to a wider global audience. A year of unique and carefully crafted stories which transport readers from their own lives and their own realities into worlds conceived by the imaginations of some of the world’s most talented and innovative writers. There are many Africans and many African experiences, perhaps the beauty of the Caine Prize is that it reflects the plethora of African identities which exist. From South Africa to Sudan, male, female, gay, straight, rich, poor on the continent, in the diaspora, rural, urban there is a story to reflect all our experiences. The Caine Prize is special because it has allowed a continent that is often objectified to reclaim its agency and speak for itself.”
Ben Okri OBE, Vice-President of the Caine Prize Council, said: “Whether it is the celebration, the marketplace, the bus stop, the ritual, the family, the funeral, comradeship, grisly death, sexual awakening, the short story catches the experience, holds it at an angle, illuminates it.”
Ellah Wakatama-Allfrey OBE, Chair of the Caine Prize, said: “It’s very exciting to be able to share an anthology which encompasses the wonderful literary contributions that have shaped the Prize over the past 20 years. We enter the twenty-first year of the Prize with excitement, and look forward to reading more electrifying literature from all over Africa in the years ahead.” Through its workshops, anthologies and events the Caine Prize has provided a platform for African writers to share their work and hone their craft. Awarded annually to the best short story written by an African writer, the prize has supported and rewarded outstanding African literature for 20 years.