Nigeria’s Tope Folarin has won the 2013 Caine Prize for African Writing, described as Africa’s leading literary award, for his short story entitled ‘Miracle’ from Transition, Issue 109 (Bloomington, 2012).
The Chair of Judges, Gus Casely-Hayford, announced Tope Folarin as the winner of the £10,000 prize at a dinner held this evening (Monday, 8 July) at the Bodleian Library in Oxford.
‘Miracle’ is a story set in Texas in an evangelical Nigerian church where the congregation has gathered to witness the healing powers of a blind pastor-prophet. Religion and the gullibility of those caught in the deceit that sometimes comes with faith rise to the surface as a young boy volunteers to be healed and begins to believe in miracles.
Gus Casely-Hayford praised the story, saying: ‘Tope Folarin’s ‘Miracle’ is another superb Caine Prize winner – a delightful and beautifully paced narrative, that is exquisitely observed and utterly compelling’.
Tope Folarin is the recipient of writing fellowships from the Institute for Policy Studies and Callaloo, and he serves on the board of the Hurston/Wright Foundation. Tope was educated at Morehouse College, and the University of Oxford, where he earned two Master’s degrees as a Rhodes Scholar. He lives and works in Washington, DC.
Also shortlisted were:
· Pede Hollist (Sierra Leone) ‘Foreign Aid’ from Journal of Progressive Human Services, Vol. 23.3 (Philadelphia, 2012) www.tandfonline.com/loi/wphs20#.UZOV4bVlk_g
· Abubakar Adam Ibrahim (Nigeria) ‘The Whispering Trees’ from The Whispering Trees, published by Parrésia Publishers (Lagos, 2012) www.parresiapublishers.com
· Elnathan John (Nigeria) ‘Bayan Layi’ from Per Contra, Issue 25 (USA, 2012) www.percontra.net
· Chinelo Okparanta (Nigeria) ‘America’ from Granta, Issue 118 (London, 2012) www.granta.com