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Caine Prize winner shares her £10,000 winnings

TOP SPOT: Prize-winning author Namwali Serpell

THE FIRST Zambian to win the Caine Prize for African Writing has revealed she will share the £10,000 prize money among the shortlisted nominees.

Namwali Serpell was announced the winner on July 6 at a special dinner in Oxford, for her short story The Sack, featured in Africa30, published by Bloomsbury.

Chair of the judges Zoe Wicomb praised the story, which is about the relationship between two men and a woman who comes between them, as “an extraordinary story about the aftermath of revolution with its liberatory promises shattered".

She added that it was “innovative, stylistically stunning, haunting and enigmatic”.

Serpell said the childhood friends had gone through “a long process of trying to build a political movement together, which failed, and in the process falling in love with the same woman, who died. It’s about trying to come to terms with that”.

The author revealed she was uncomfortable with the prize structure, which pits writers against each other like American Idol.

Nigerians Segun Afolabi and Elnathan John and South Africans F T Kola and Masande Ntshanga will also receive £500 from the Caine Prize.

Judges this year were authors Neel Mukherjee and Brian Chikwava, broadcaster Zeinab Badawi and academic Coilin Parsons of Georgetown University.

The award counts African winners of the Nobel Prize for literature Wole Soyinka and JM Coetzee amongst its patrons, is given for a short story by an African writer published in English. 

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