Nigerian Writer Wins £10,000 Literary Prize

Nigerian-British author Irenosen Okojie has been announced as the winner of the 2020 AKO Caine Prize for African Writing for her short story about a Grace Jones impersonator with a dark secret.

Judges praised the “radical” and “risky” work of fiction, which deals with questions of trauma and identity as well as pleasure and escape.

“What I want people to take away from it is not just the pain of tragedy, it’s how we reconfigure ourselves past it,” Okojie told the BBC.

The London-based writer says her £10,000 winnings will buy her more time to travel, to write and maybe even a garden shed as “a little enclave” to work in.

“I’m predominantly passionate about writing about black women, and for me it doesn’t just mean black women from Nigeria,” Okojie says. “I think blackness is fascinating, especially cross-culturally.”