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Nigerian Author Gets the Nod She was Looking For

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Critically acclaimed author Irenosen Okojie has won the AKO Caine prize for African writing, crediting her win with giving her “extra confidence” as a black, female experimental writer who has felt she was “operating on the fringes”. The Nigerian-British writer won the £10,000 award for her short story Grace Jones, following an impersonator of the singer as she mourns the death of her family in a house fire. Judges for the prize called it “a radical story that plays with logic, time and place”, and praised it as “risky, dazzling, imaginative and bold”. Grace Jones was published last year in Okojie’s book Nudibranch, her second short story collection and her third book, following her debut novel Butterfly Fish and her first collection Speak Gigantular. She is currently writing a second novel, but said she finds the process of short story writing “feverish”, and filled with a “sense of urgency”.


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