Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Olufemi Terry wins Caine Prize 2010

This article is based on an article in The Guardian of Tuesday 6th of July 2010.

Sierra Leone's Olufemi Terry won the Cain Prize, known as the African Booker Prize, for his short story Stickfighting Days. The price is worth £10,000 and goes to a short story by an African writer published in English. Stickfighting Days tells the story of a group of boys who sniff glue and fight each other with sticks in a city rubbish dump
According to the chair of literary judges Fiammetta Rocco, the Economist's literary editor, "The execution of this story is so tight and the presentation so cinematic, it confirms Olufemi Terry as a talent with an enormous future."
Olufemi Terry was born in Sierra Leone but he’s a true Afropolitan. Terry grew up in Nigeria, the UK and the Cote d'Ivoire, studied in New York and lived in Kenya, Somalia and Uganda. He currently lives in Cape Town. As he explains to The Guardian, he tries to explore with his writing the issues of the African diaspora.

"Living in the diaspora, whether it's west or east, throws up a whole new set of challenges and questions which I don't feel have been properly explored or looked at," he said. "The label 'African writer' is not a particularly helpful one ... Whether it's journalism or fiction, there is too much emphasis put on issues such as poverty or disease, and I feel the label 'African writing' exacerbates that particular tendency. I would like to see more of a shift away from writing about Africa set on the continent, and more exploration of the issues of the diaspora."
Terry hopes the win will help him find a publisher for his first novel The Sum of All Losses, which he is about to complete. The Caine prize, awarded annually, includes among its patrons the African winners of the Nobel prize for literature Wole Soyinka, Nadine Gordimer and JM Coetzee, as well as Chinua Achebe.

Read more in The Guardian


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