Despite the talent of and calibre of African writers, most struggle to get the international recognition they deserve. The Caine Prize, now in its 16th year, seeks to remedy this with an annual celebration of the continent’s best writers.
Focused on short-stories the accolade has been awarded to some of the most prominent names from the continent today, including Kenya’s Binyavanga Wainaina, Sierra Leone’s Olufemi Terry and Zimbabwe’s NoViolet Bulawayo.
But why do African writers struggle to get noticed? Is the “African literature” grouping a help or hindrance? What, if anything, links these writers together? Is there really such as “African literature”?
The Guardian asked the five shortlisted writers from this year’s Caine prize – Segun Afolabi, Elnathan John, FT Kola, Masande Ntshanga and Namwali Serpell – to join a panel to discuss these questions; offer tips for budding writers and talk about their work. Here’s a link.