[The JRB Daily] 2022 Caine Prize for African Writing shortlist announced—‘a staggering feast’

The shortlist for the 2022 AKO Caine Prize for African Writing, awarded annually for a short story by an African writer published in English, has been announced.

The winner of the prize receives £10,000 (about R194,000), and each shortlisted writer £500.

This year’s nominees hail from Nigeria, Ghana, Ethiopia and Kenya. There was a 130 per cent increase in submissions to the prize this year, with the five shortlisted authors being selected from a record 349 entries, from twenty-seven African countries.

2022 Caine Prize shortlist

  • Joshua Chizoma (Nigeria) for ‘Collector of Memories’
  • Nana-Ama Danquah (Ghana) for ‘When a Man Loves a Woman’
  • Hannah Giorgis (Ethiopia) for ‘A Double-Edged Inheritance’
  • Idza Luhumyo (Kenya) for ‘Five Years Next Sunday’
  • Billie McTernan (Ghana) for ‘The Labadi Sunshine Bar’

This year’s judging panel was Nigerian author and award-winning journalist Okey Ndibe (chair); French–Guinean author and literary scholar Elisa Diallo; South African podcast host and literary practitioner Letlhogonolo Mokgoroane; London-based Nigerian visual artist Àsìkò Okelarin; and Kenyan Book Bunk co-founder Angela Wachuka. 

Speaking of the shortlist, Ndibe says: 

‘The 2022 entries represented a staggering feast. It was a testament to the vibrancy, variety and splendour of creative talent among writers of African descent.’ 

Independent Brooklyn-based press Akashic Books dominates the shortlist this year, with three of the nominated stories (those by Danquah, Giorgis and McTernan) having been published in their award-winning Akashic Noir anthology series. Additionally, Danquah edited Accra Noir, the anthology in which her and McTernan’s stories feature.

Meanwhile, Afritondo and Catalyst Press make the list for the first time, with Chizoma’s ‘Collector of Memories’, which was shortlisted for the 2021 Afritondo Short Story Prize and published in The Hope, The Prayer, The Anthem, and Luhumyo’s ‘Five Years Next Sunday’, winner of the 2021 Short Story Day Africa Prize, and co-published with Short Story Day Africa in Disruption

This is the sixth time a writer published by Short Story Day Africa has been shortlisted for the Caine Prize, following Okwiri Oduor (winner, 2014), Diane Awerbuck (shortlist, 2014), Efemia Chela (shortlist, 2014), Tochukwu Emmanuel Okafor (shortlist, 2019) and Cherrie Kandie (shortlist, 2019). 

The winner will be announced at a ceremony at the V&A in London, United Kingdom, on Monday, 18 July 2022. The shortlisted stories will be published in the 2022 Caine Prize anthology, alongside stories written at the Caine Prize Workshop, held this year in Ghana. 

Last year’s Caine Prize winner was Meron Hadero, who became the first Ethiopian writer to take the award.

Image: The Caine Prize

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