Nigeria’s Tope Folarin wins the 2013 Caine Prize for African Writing

The 2013 Shortlist: From left, Caine Prize winner Tope Folarin (Nigeria), Pede Hollist (Sierra Leone), Chinelo Okparanta (Nigeria), Elnathan John (Nigeria), Abubakar Adam Ibrahim (Nigeria). (Photo courtesy of Parrésia Publishers)
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 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".

The first prize was awarded in 2000, at the Zimbabwe International Book Fair 2000 in Harare, and the 2001 Prize at the Nairobi Book Fair in September 2001 The winner is announced at a dinner in Oxford in July, to which the shortlisted candidates are all invited. This is part of a week of activities for the candidates, including bookreadings, booksignings and press opportunities.

The Prize is named in celebration of the late Sir Michael Caine, former Chairman of Booker plc, who was Chairman of the 'Africa 95' arts festival in Europe and Africa in 1995 and for nearly 25 years Chairman of the Booker Prize management committee.

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