Today, the 27th of July, 2020, the winner of the 2020 AKO Caine Prize has been announced. The prize has been awarded to Irenosen Okojie for her story ‘Grace Jones’, from her recent short story collection, Nudibranch, published by Dialogue Books in 2019. A brilliant and moving story, the judges – Kenneth Tharp (Chair), James Murua, Gabriel Gbadamosi, Ebissé Rouw, and Audrey Brown – described ‘Grace Jones’ as “superbly crafted” and “radical”.
The story was selected from a shortlist of five writers, which included the Nigerian novelist Jowhor Ile, a previous shortlistee, Chikodili Emelumadu, and two other writers: Erica Sugo Anyadike (Tanzania), whose story we reviewed here, and the Rwandan-Namibian writer Rémy Ngamije.
The winner, Irenosen Okojie, is a Nigerian-British writer. She is the author of the novel, Butterfly Fish, which won the Betty Trask Award and was shortlisted for the Edinburgh International First Book Award. Her short stories have been published internationally including Salt’s Best British Short Stories 2017, Kwani? and The Year’s Best Weird Fiction. Her story collection, Speak Gigantular, published by Jacaranda Books, was shortlisted for the Edgehill Short Story Prize, the Jhalak Prize, the Saboteur Awards and was nominated for a Shirley Jackson Award. Her most recent book is the the story collection Nudibranch.
Congratulations to Irenosen Okojie.