Nigeria’s Tope Folarin has won the 2013 Caine Prize for African Writing for his short story Miracle.
Folarin’s story and four other shortlisted entries from Nigeria’s Abubakar Adam Ibrahim, Chinelo Okparanta, Elnathan John and Sierra Leone’s Pede Hollist as well as 12 other tales from the Caine Prize Writers’ Workshop are published in the annual Caine Prize anthology, by New Internationalist in partnership with seven African publishers.
The plot unfolds in Texas, in an evangelical Nigerian church
where the congregation has gathered to witness the healing powers of a
blind pastor-prophet. Religion and the gullibility of those caught in
the deceit that sometimes comes with faith rise to the surface as a
young boy volunteers to be healed and begins to believe in miracles.
The Chair of Judges, Gus Casely-Hayford, announced the winner of the £10,000 prize at a dinner held in Oxford on Monday.
Gus Casely-Hayford praised the story, saying: ‘Tope Folarin’s Miracle is another superb Caine Prize winner - a delightful and beautifully paced narrative, that is exquisitely observed and utterly compelling.’
Tope Folarin is the recipient of writing fellowships from the Institute for Policy Studies and Callaloo, and he serves on the board of the Hurston/Wright Foundation. Tope was educated at Morehouse College, and the University of Oxford, where he earned two Masters degrees as a Rhodes Scholar. He lives and works in Washington, DC. ‘Miracle’ first appeared in Transition, Issue 109 (Bloomington, 2012),
Pictures and short biographies of the shortlisted authors can be viewed in The Guardian.