Jowhor Ile on How Literature Shapes Our Lives
Introducing a Limited Series on the AKO Caine Prize Finalists
The AKO Caine Prize for African Writing is a literature prize awarded to an African writer of a short story published in English. The prize was launched in 2000 to encourage and highlight the richness and diversity of African writing by bringing it to a wider audience internationally. The focus on the short story reflects the contemporary development of the African storytelling tradition. This week, we present a limited podcast series with the 2020 prize finalists.
On today’s episode, Jowhor Ile reads his story “Fisherman’s Stew,” published in The Sewanee Review, and conducts a self-interview.
From the episode:
Jowhor Ile: Literature sure helps us expand our sense of what is possible in every way. I think politics is part of that, and literature is necessary for me. It’s how we develop inwardness, how to build empathy, how we learn. So literature is powerful in shaping up politics because it’s what determines a lot.
Jowhor Ile was born and raised in Nigeria. He is known for his first novel, And After Many Days. In 2016, the novel was awarded the Etisalat Prize for Literature. Ile’s short fiction has appeared in The Sewanee Review, McSweeney’s Quarterly, and Litro Magazine. He earned his MFA at Boston University and is currently a Visiting professor at West Virginia. Ile splits his time between Nigeria and the U.S.