Zambian author Namwali Serpell has won the 2015 Caine Prize for African Writing. She is the first Zambian to ever take home the award, which is given to an African writer for a short story written in English. Serpell was born in Zambia and now lives in California, where she is a professor at UC Berkeley.
Serpell’s winning story, The Sack, is about two feuding men and a woman that came between them. The prize’s chair of judges, South African writer Zoë Wicomb, called it “an extraordinary story about the aftermath of revolution with its liberatory promises shattered.”
The Caine Prize was founded in the United Kingdom in 2000, and is named after former Booker Group plc chairman Sir Michael Harris Caine. Sometimes called “the African Booker,” the prize is worth £10,000 (nearly $15,500 US).
Serpell won’t keep all that money, though, as she disagrees with the structure of the prize. Serpell feels “very awkward to be placed into this position of competition with other writers,” and will therefore be sharing the prize money with the other short-listed authors.
Image courtesy of The Guardian