I like to think i stay informed but prior to this i never heard of the very good looking and talented Mr. Olufemi Terry who has won this year’s Caine Prize for African Writing for his short story Stickfighting Days.
The £10,000 ($16,100 Cdn) prize, named for former chair of Booker PLC Michael Caine, founder of the Booker Prize, is considered one of Africa’s most prestigious prizes for creative writing. He also gets a month’s residence at Georgetown University in Washington D.C.(to work on his novel i’m thinking)
The story follows a group of boys who sniff glue and fight each other with sticks in the dump. It was published in Chimurenga Vol. 12/13, a magazine of African writing.
“Ambitious, brave and hugely imaginative, Olufemi Terry’s Stickfighting Days presents a heroic culture that is Homeric in its scale and conception,” said Fiammetta Rocco, chair of the judging panel. Rocco is literary editor of the Economist.
Terry told the BBC he doesn’t find the label “African writer” to be helpful, as it is too often associated with the African stereotypes of poverty and disease.
In his own writing, he said he is keen to explore the African diaspora. He said he hopes the Caine Prize win will help him find a publisher for his first novel, The Sum of All Losses, which he has been working on at his home in Cape Town.