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Twenty Years of the Caine Prize

Twenty Years of The Caine Prize for African Writing


A sparkling anthology of short stories featuring the first twenty winners of the Caine Prize, Africa’s premier literary competition. 

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A jailer’s love poems ghost-written by a prisoner… Love blossoming between two girls despite the horror of their community… Street kids stick-fighting or stealing guavas from the rich… A dystopian world where women must go naked until they marry… Celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the Caine Prize for African Writing – often referred to as the ‘African Booker Prize’ – this collection showcases all twenty prize-winning short stories, each with its own unique take on modern African life.

As Ben Okri says, in his special introduction for this anthology: ‘Whether in the cities or in the villages, whether it is in East or West or South or North Africa, something pulses through the varied and oddly unified life of the continent that lends itself to the framing that the short story excels at. 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.’

This celebratory collection includes:
Leila Aboulela, Sudan, 2000
Helon Habila, Nigeria, 2001
Binyavanga Wainaina, Kenya, 2002
Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor, Kenya, 2003
Brian Chikwava, Zimbabwe, 2004
Segun Afolabi, Nigeria, 2005
Mary Watson South, Africa, 2006
Monica Arac de Nyeko, Uganda, 2007
Henrietta Rose-Innes, South Africa, 2008
EC Osondu, Nigeria, 2009
Olufemi Terry, Sierra Leone, 2010
NoViolet Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, 2011
Rotimi Babatunde, Nigeria, 2012
Tope Folarin, Nigeria, 2013
Okwiri Oduor, Kenya, 2014
Namwali Serpell, Zambia, 2015
Lidudumalingani, South Africa, 2016
Bushra al-Fadil, Sudan, 2017
Makena Onjerika, Kenya, 2018
Lesley Nneka Arimah, Nigeria, 2019

The Caine Prize was launched in 2000 to encourage and highlight the richness and diversity of African writing by bringing it to a wider audience internationally. The focus on the short story reflects the contemporary development of the African story-telling tradition. The Prize is known as the ‘African Booker’ (and is named after the Booker Prize founder, Michael Caine) and for the past twenty years has showcased writers who go on to successfully achieve great literary success, such as Leila Aboulela, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Brian Chikwava and NoViolet Bulawayo.

Introduction by Ben Okri​

The Museum by Leila Aboulela (Egypt), winner of the 2000 Caine Prize

Love Poems by Helon Habila (Nigeria), winner of the 2001 Caine Prize 

Discovering Home by Binyavanga Wainaina (Kenya), winner of the 2002 Caine Prize

Weight of Whispers by Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor (Kenya), winner of the 2003 Caine Prize

Seventh Street Alchemy by Brian Chikwava (Zimbabwe), winner of the 2004 Caine Prize

Monday Morning by Segun Afolabi (Nigeria), winner of the 2005 Caine Prize

Jungfrau by Mary Watson (South Africa), winner of the 2006 Caine Prize

Jambula Tree by Monica Arac de Nyeko (Uganda), winner of the 2007 Caine Prize

Poison by Henrietta Rose-Innes (South Africa), winner of the 2008 Caine Prize

Waiting by EC Osondu, winner of the 2009 Caine Prize

Stickfighting Days by Olufemi Terry (Sierra Leone), winner of the 2010 Caine Prize

Hitting Budapest by NoViolet Bulawayo (Zimbabwe), winner of the 2011 Caine Prize

Bombay’s Republic by Rotimi Babatunde (Nigeria), winner of the 2012 Caine Prize

Miracle by Tope Folarin (Nigeria), winner of the 2013 Caine Prize

My Father’s Head by Okwiri Oduor (Kenya), winner of the 2014 Caine Prize

The Sack by Namwali Serpell (Zambia), winner of the 2015 Caine Prize

Memories We Lost by Lidudumalingani (South Africa), winner of the 2016 Caine Prize

The Story of the Girl Whose Birds Flew Away by Bushra al-Fadil (Sudan), winner of the 2017 Caine Prize

Fanta Blackcurrant by Makena Onjerika (Kenya), winner of the 2018 Caine Prize

Skinned by Lesley Nneka Arimah (Nigeria), winner of the 2019 Caine Prize

About the authors

Compiled by: 
Foreword By: 
Page Count: 
10.9 x 17.5cm
UK Publication Date: 
Thursday, 31 October, 2019
Publication Date:
Thursday, 31 October 2019

An admirable and essential gateway to current African fiction.


Entertaining. Deserves to be widely read.

Sunday Independent, South Africa

Africa’s most important literary award.

International Herald Tribune

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