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Winner of 'African Booker' to be announced

WINNER: Nigerian author EC Esundo won the prize in 2009

THE WINNER of a writing prize designed to celebrate African talent will be announced tomorrow.

Competition for the 2011 Caine Prize for African writing, nicknamed the African Booker, has been shortlisted to five finalists from 126 entries spanning 17 African countries.

The winner will be announced at a reception at the Bodleian Library, in Oxford, and will be awarded a £10,000 cash prize.

Named after the Michael Harris Caine, the longstanding chairman of the Booker Prize committee, the accolade was first handed out in 2000 Sudanese writer Leila Aboulela for her short story The Museum .

Its patrons read like a who’s who of African literature and includes stalwarts like Chinua Achebe, JM Coetzee and Wole Soyinka.

In keeping with the traditional African way of story-telling, it recognises the best short stories published about the continent but must be published in English.

On this year’s shortlist is Zimbabwe-born author NoViolet Bulawayo, a graduate of Cornell University in the US, for her short story Hitting Budapest.

Uganda’s Beatrice Lamwaka in with a chance for her offering Butterly Dreams as is Tim Keegan, an academic historian from South Africa, and Lauri Kubuitsile from Botswana.

The second South African to appear on the list is David Medalie for his piece entitled The Mistress’s Dog .

Judges include Libyan novelist Hisham Matar whose first novel In the Country of Men was shortlisted for the 2006 Man Booker Prize and the Guardian First Book Award.

He will be joined by deputy editor of Granta Magazine, Ellah Allfrey, Aminatta Forna whose award-winning novel The Memory of Love was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction.

*Visit Voice Online tomorrow to find out the winner

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