The Caine Prize for African Writing 2011

Caine Prize

Zimbabwean writer, NoViolet Bulawayo, wins this year’s Caine Prize

The Caine Prize is Africa’s leading literary award and named after the late Sir Michael Caine, former Chairman of Booker plc and Chairman of the Booker Prize management committee for nearly 25 years.

This year the £10,000 prize was won by Zimbabwe’s NoViolet Bulawayo for her short story, ‘Hitting Budapest’, from The Boston Review, Vol 35, no. 6 – Nov/Dec 2010.

Henry Bonsu interviews NoViolet Bulawayo

The Chair of Judges, award-winning author Hisham Matar, said, “The language of ‘Hitting Budapest’ crackles.  Here we encounter Darling, Bastard, Chipo, Godknows, Stina and Sbho, a gang reminiscent of Clockwork Orange. But these are children, poor and violated and hungry. This is a story with moral power and weight, it has the artistry to refrain from moral commentary. NoViolet Bulawayo is a writer who takes delight in language.”

NoViolet Bulawayo was born and raised in Zimbabwe. She recently completed her MFA at Cornell University, in the US, where she is now a Truman Capote Fellow and Lecturer of English. Another of her stories, ‘Snapshots’, was shortlisted for the 2009 SA PEN/Studzinski Literary Award. NoViolet has recently completed a novel manuscript tentatively titled We Need New Names, and has begun work on a memoir project.

Also shortlisted were:

·         Lauri Kubuitsile (Botswana) In the spirit of McPhineas Lata’ from The Bed Book of Short Stories published by Modjaji Books, SA, 2010

·         Tim Keegan (South Africa) ‘What Molly Knew’ from Bad Company published by Pan Macmillan SA, 2008

·         David Medalie (South Africa) ‘The Mistress’s Dog’, from The Mistress’s Dog: Short stories  1996-2010 published by Picador Africa, 2010

·         Beatrice Lamwaka (Uganda) ‘Butterfly dreams’ from Butterfly Dreams and Other New Short Stories from Uganda published by Critical, Cultural and Communications Press, Nottingham, 2010

The panel of judges was chaired by award-winning Libyan novelist Hisham Matar, whose first novel, In the Country of Men, was shortlisted for the 2006 Man Booker Prize.  He was joined on the panel by Granta deputy editor Ellah Allfrey, publisher, film and travel writer Vicky Unwin, Georgetown University Professor and poet David Gewanter, and the award-winning author Aminatta Forna.

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