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Serpell wins 2015 Caine Prize for African Writing

Zambia’s Namwali Serpell has won the 2015 Caine Prize for African Writing for her short story ‘The Sack’. Published in the collection Africa39: New Writing from Africa South of the Sahara (ed by Ellah Wakatama Allfrey, Bloomsbury), ‘The Sack’ explores the relationship between two men and an absent woman ‘though troubled interactions and power relationships which jar with the views held by the characters’. The chair of judges Zoë Wicomb described it as an ‘extraordinary story about the aftermath of revolution with its liberatory promises shattered’. As the winner of the £10,000 (A$20,743) prize, Serpell receives a one-month residency at Georgetown University and an invitation to participate in Cape Town’s Open Book Festival, Nairobi’s Storymoja Hay Festival and Nigeria’s Ake Festival. Serpell was one of five shortlisted writers, who each receive £500 (A$1037). The Caine Prize is named in honour of the late Sir Michael Caine, former chairman of the Booker Prize management committee, and recognises short stories written by African authors published in English. To read the winning and shortlisted stories, visit the Caine Prize website here.

 

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