For news about the announcement on the 2010 Caine Prize for African writing, the story on the BBC news website does say most of it.
But for more details the best place to go is the actual Caine Prize website, which has links to the full press release, and a copy of the winning story, “Stickfighting days”.
Why does it matter who wins?
Well, it is a prestigious prize, and let’s face it, £10,000 is not an amount to be sneezed at!
Also, if the past is any way a predictor of the future, the winner is likely to become a well-known writer and representative of the African continent.
So Ayikoo to Olufemi Terry, and we look forward to reading more of his work.
Reasons for Ghanaians to be interested in the Prize this year include the fact that Mamle Kabu’s very accomplished ‘Mr Oliver’ appears in ‘A Life in Full and other stories’ – the publication containing the 2010 shortlisted stories and work from the CDC Caine Prize Workshop 2010 – that is given to all attending the dinner.
But Ghanaians are involved at other levels as well: the ’Council’ of the Prize includes Margaret Busby, Nana Yaa Mensah and Nana Wilson-Tagoe, and some of those people were present at the award dinner, as was Nana Becky Ayebia Clarke, who has, of course, published a previous winner.
The fact that Olufemi Terry won this year reinforces the impression from earlier choices that stories reflecting or reflecting on major social issues win this prize. (The boys in ‘Stickfighting Days’ survive by recycling items found on ‘a dump’, and live for the glory of succeeding in violent combat.)
One may recall that Mohammed Ali was shortlisted a couple of years ago for a beautifully observed, masterfully rendered tale. However, it was far too gentle to win the Caine Prize. Potential entrants have been advised!
As might be expected, Ghana cropped up again and again in conversation both over drinks at Exeter College (a beautiful evening) and at the dinner in the Bodleian Library (‘terrine of fresh salmon … roast breast of guinea fowl … dark chocolate truffle …’) You could tell from the gestures who was talking about those attacking moves, that piece of handball, that cross-bar….
PS One conversation led me to the following website http://www.wordsofcolour.co.uk I recommend it to those interested in writing and publishing.
I always like your comments, which inevitably send me off looking at something else. I find it interesting that there isn’t that much mention of the Caine Prize in the local press here in Ghana, but then the same thing could be said about literary matters generally, except if someone writes a poem about The Black Stars! Sorry about that slightly snide comment. N
Congratulations to Olufemi Terry, 2010 winner, and the other nominees! Olufemi Terry’s ‘Stickfighting Days’, along with the four other nominated stories and stories written at this year’s Caine Prize workshop, is published in the book Life in Full and other stories, now available from New Internationalist Publications (http://www.newint.org/publications/caine-prize-2010/). To read about the winning story, please visit http://www.newint.org//publications/news/2010/07/06/caine-prize-2010-winner-announced/