Africa’s Fresh Voices on Caine Shortlist

Many have heard of The Caine Prize for African Writing but not many know the origin of the prize many people refer to as Africa’s Booker.  The prize receives it’s name from the late Sir Michael Caine, former Chairman of Booker Plc and a man who was dedicated to Africa and showcasing the work of African writers for much of his life.  At his death, his team of friends of colleagues decided to continue his legacy and establish a prize of 10,000 GBP to be awarded annually to an exception African writer for a short story work.  The Caine Prize is supported by various organizations and foundations and has as its Patrons the African winners of the Nobel prize for Literature – Wole Soyinka, Nadine Gordimer, J,M Coetzee – as well as Chinua Achebe.  Ben Okri (a Farafina author) chaired the panel of Judges for the first edition in 2000.

This year, the Caine Prize has unveiled its shortlist of fresh voices in African writing with a diverse group of five writers who’s work, life, and experiences span right across the continent and the globe.

I had the opportunity of meeting one of the shortlisted authors, Olufemi Terry, last year and apart from the fact that he’s such a nice chap who’s passionate about his writing, I can guarantee that there’s a lot more coming from him.  We wish everyone boatloads of luck!


Granta Deputy Editor speaks with Ngugi Wa Thiong’o

Ellah Allfrey, Deputy Editor of Granta, is a friend of Farafina (really, we have many friends!)  She was in Lagos a few months ago to facilitate a Workshop for Farafina Trust, our sister organization.  One of the many perks of being part of Farafina Books is the opportunity to attend such workshops.  Ms. Allfrey  was very warm, informative, and extremely knowledgeable about all aspects of publishing.

Now, the esteemed Ngugi Wa Thiong’o is also a Farafina author, with his book “Wizard of the Crow.”  This interview is to publicize the latest entry in Ngugi’s memoirs “Dreams in a Time of War,” in which the prolific author not only touches on shades from his childhood: colonialism, polygamy, etc.; but also talks about the new generation of young African writers and his thoughts about their work.  “Dreams in a Time of War,’ was published in spring 2010 and two more volumes of Ngugi’s memoirs are forthcoming.