“If she was strong she would have explained and not tired of explaining.”
—Leila Aboulela, “The Museum”
The Caine Prize honors African writers for exemplary short stories written in English. This anthology comprises every winning story since 2000, the year the prize was created, to 2019. Winners, coming from different regions of Africa, reflect the continent’s diverse literary culture. Themes range from overcoming the trauma of immigration to grappling with the destruction of postcolonial life, to reminiscing on sweet and sour childhood memories. Stories pace from slow and steady narratives about specific moments, to all-encompassing character development over numerous years and settings. The Caine Prize is a prestigious honor. So, it’s fitting the winners’ stories are memorialized in print, with each painting an exquisite picture of the author’s culture, identity and life journey. Personally, “The Museum,” “Miracle,” and “Waiting” loom large. The Caine Prize anthology is a great choice for those who want to read nonfiction but can’t commit to a long novel.