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Nigerian scoops African ‘Booker’

By on July 7, 2009

Nigerian writer EC Osondu has won the 2009 Caine Prize for African Writing.

_46020076_caine226 The award was given for his story Waiting, about displaced people. It has been published in, and takes a $16,00 prize (£10,000). The other four writers shortlisted for the prize were from Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa. The prize – widely known as the African Booker – is awarded annually for a short story by an African writer published in English.

The award is named after Sir Michael Caine, a former chairman of Booker plc.

The Chair of Judges, New Statesman Chief Sub-Editor Nana Yaa Mensah, described Mr Osondu’s story as “a tour de force describing, from a child’s point of view, the dislocating experience of being a displaced person.”

He was born in Nigeria and worked in advertising in Lagos before moving to New York to study creative writing at Syracuse University.

He received the Allen and Nirelle Galso Prize for Fiction and his story A Letter from Home was recognized as one of the best Internet Stories of 2006.

He currently teaches literature at Providence College, Rhode Island.

Winning the prize includes a month’s scholarship at Georgetown University in Washington DC as a Writer-in-Residence.


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