Wainaina won the Caine Prize, and I found his account of how he set about doing so hilarious, especially in light of the discussions we've been having about the Prize here.
I spent the past few weeks polishing a short story for the Caine Prize for African Writing. It is about a young girl (Girl Child, Gender!) who is questioning the world, and her mother's values (Empowerment). I mine every sexy African theme I can think of. The Caine Prize, based in England, is worth fifteen thousand dollars, and you get an agent and fame and lots of commissioned work.We then follow his desperate attempt to meet the definition of 'published' by getting it online the day before the deadline.
Though there are certainly important criticisms that can be made of the Caine, I think it's important that we think about the last sentence of the quote. The Caine more or less made Wainaina's career, as it has a number of other authors, and that makes up, in my mind, for a multitude of sins.