The Chair of judges, author and Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature Bernardine Evaristo MBE, has described the shortlist as "truly diverse fiction from a truly diverse continent."
The Caine Prize, Africa's leading literary award, is now in its thirteenth year. Involved from the beginning, Ben Okri, the internationally acclaimed Nigerian writer was announced as the Vice President of the Prize last week (26 April 2012). Ellah Allfrey OBE, deputy Editor of Granta magazine is the new Deputy Chair.
The 2012 shortlist comprises:
- Rotimi Babatunde (Nigeria) 'Bombay's Republic' from 'Mirabilia Review' Vol. 3.9 (Lagos, 2011) http://mirabilia.webs.com/
- Billy Kahora (Kenya) 'Urban Zoning' from 'McSweeney's' Vol. 37 (San Francisco, 2011) www.mcsweeneys.net
- Stanley Kenani (Malawi) 'Love on Trial' from 'For Honour and Other Stories' published by eKhaya/Random House Struik (Cape Town, 2011) www.randomstruik.co.za
- Melissa Tandiwe Myambo (Zimbabwe) 'La Salle de Départ' from 'Prick of the Spindle' Vol. 4.2 (New Orleans, June, 2010) www.prickofthespindle.com
- Constance Myburgh (South Africa) 'Hunter Emmanuel' from 'Jungle Jim' Issue 6, (Cape Town, 2011) www.junglejim.org
- In her first year as Caine Prize Administrator Lizzy Attree stated, "this year's shortlist represents the best of short African fiction published worldwide. I'm looking forward to working with Ben Okri and Ellah Allfrey to continue to establish the Caine Prize as the mark of excellence in African literature."
Selected from 122 entries from 14 African countries Bernardine Evaristo said, "I'm proud to announce that this shortlist shows the range of African fiction beyond the more stereotypical narratives. These stories have an originality and facility with language that made them stand out. We've chosen a bravely provocative homosexual story set in Malawi; a Nigerian soldier fighting in the Burma Campaign of WW2; a hardboiled noir tale involving a disembodied leg; a drunk young Kenyan who outwits his irate employers; and the tension between Senegalese siblings over migration and family responsibility."
The winner of the £10,000 prize is to be announced at a celebratory dinner at the Bodleian Library, Oxford, on Monday 2 July.