The judges of the Caine Prize for African Writing announced yesterday that Monica Arac de Nyeko, a twenty-eight-year-old fiction writer from Uganda, won this year's prize for her short story "Jambula Tree," from her collection African Love Stories (Ayebia Clarke Publishing, 2006). She received approximately $20,000. The finalists were Nigerian writers Uwem Akpan, E. C. Osondu, and Ada Udechukwu and South African writer Henrietta Rose-Innes.
Arac de Nyeko is no stranger to the award: In 2004 she was shortlisted for the Caine Prize for her story "Strange Fruit." The annual prize is given for a previously published short story written in English by an African writer. Past winners include Helon Habila, Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor, Binyavanga Wainaina, and Mary Watson.