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Irenosen Okojie has won the Caine Prize for a story about a Grace Jones impersonator.

Corinne Segal

July 27, 2020, 1:33pm

Irenosen Okojie, a Nigerian-British author, is this year’s winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing for her short story “Grace Jones.”

The story, which appears in her 2019 collection Nudibranch, follows a Grace Jones impersonator in the aftermath of a family tragedy. The prize annually awards £10,000 to an African writer. Okojie is also the author of the novel Butterfly Fish and short story collection Speak Gigantular, both published by Jacaranda Books.

Kenneth Olumuyiwa Tharp, director of the Africa Centre, said in a statement that the story “plays with logic, time and place; it defies convention, as it unfolds a narrative that is multi-layered and multi-dimensional. It is risky, dazzling, imaginative and bold; it is intense and full of stunning prose; it’s also a story that reflects African consciousness in the way it so seamlessly shifts dimensions, and it’s a story that demonstrates extraordinary imagination. Most of all, it is world-class fiction from an African writer.”

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