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Born in the UK, Arimah grew up in Nigeria and wherever else her father was stationed for work. She was selected for the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 and her debut collection What it Means When A Man Falls From The Sky won the 2017 Kirkus Prize, the 2017 New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award, and was selected for the New York Times/PBS book club among other honours. She is a 2019 United States Artists Fellow in Writing. She lives in Las Vegas. News 

Nigerian Lesley Nneka Arimah wins £10,000 Caine Prize

    Nigerian author Lesley Nneka Arimah has won the 2019 Caine Prize for African Writing for her short story ‘Skinned’. The chair of the Caine Prize judging panel, internationally acclaimed Kenyan author and poet Dr Peter Kimani, revealed Lesley as the winner of the £10,000 prize at an award dinner at Senate House, University of London last night (Monday 8th July).  ‘Skinned’, published in American literary journal McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern (Issue 53), envisions a society in which young girls are ceremonially ‘uncovered’ and must marry in order to regain…

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Artists & Reviews Politics 

Caine Prize: For Emergent African Writers, or the Best African Writers

This essay was originally published in the second volume of Oduor Oduku’s KUT Anthology.  It’s hard to tell the story of contemporary African literature without talking about the Caine Prize for African Writing. It’s the biggest and most prominent prize for African Literature—or at least the best publicized—and in the 17 years of its existence, what it means to say “African Literature” has changed quite dramatically, a transformation the Caine Prize has in part reflected, and in part helped to produce. This is easy to see at the level of the individual writers:…

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