New Internationalist

And the winner of the Caine Prize is…

picture of caine prize winner olufemi terry

The Caine Prize for African Writing for 2010 was awarded last night to the Sierra Leonean writer Olufemi Terry, for his story ‘Stickfighting Days’. The story is uniquely powerful, entering into the minds and culture of boys who live on a rubbish dump in an unnamed city but whose lives derive their meaning from their highly skilled but brutal battles with sticks.

I thought Terry’s story was a very worthy winner. I knew all five of the shortlisted stories well, having edited them for the New Internationalist book which showcases them - A Life in Full and other stories, which is available now from our webshop. The book also contains 12 other stories specially written at a workshop held in Kenya by writers from right across the African continent.

Given that we could not know in advance which of the five shortlisted stories would win the Caine Prize, we decided to draw the title of the book from one of the workshop stories, by the Nigerian novelist Jude Dibia, who also contributed to New Internationalist’s One World anthology of short stories from last year.

The prizegiving event took place in the magnificent, if rather incongruous, surroundings of the Divinity School in Oxford’s Bodleian Library. Among the guests was the Nigerian Booker Prize winner Ben Okri, who contributed a story and an introduction to last year’s volume celebrating Ten Years of the Caine Prize for African Writing.

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About the author

Chris Brazier a New Internationalist contributor

Once a writer for the rock music weekly Melody Maker (1977-80), Chris Brazier has been a co-editor of New Internationalist magazine since 1984. He has covered myriad subjects from masculinity to maternal mortality, Panafricanism to the paranormal, and has edited country issues on South Africa, Burkina Faso, Western Sahara, Bangladesh, Iran, China and Vietnam. He edits the country profile section of the magazine as well as its puzzle page. Since 2010 he has focused primarily on commissioning and editing New Internationalist’s books and other publications. He has also written regularly for UNICEF’s annual The State of the World’s Children report since 1997.

Chris is the author of Vietnam: The Price of Peace (Oxfam, 1992), The No-Nonsense Guide to World History (2001, 2006 & 2010) and Trigger Issues: Football (2007). He also compiled the New Internationalist anthologies Raging Against the Machine (2003) and Brief Histories of Almost Anything (2008).

Read more by Chris Brazier

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