M.A. Orthofer got me thinking and even laughing, with his incisive comment on the Bookerishness of a short story prize. To be sure, the Caine Prize for African writing has been called the African Booker. Friends, this is a short story prize, and the organizers thought it honorable enough to call it the African Booker. But then there is an Arab Booker, Russian Booker, Asian Booker - all for published novels. Chei, chei, my goodness. It's like giving three women gifts. The first gets a real Rolls Royce, the second, a real, real, Rolls Royce, and the third, gets a Toyota Corrolla. She dances away happily announcing to the world: Rejoice with me, this is my Rolls Royce. Get it?
Anyway, here is Orthofer:
"The premier short-story prize of (sort of) the continent, I'm still no big fan of their touting it as: "widely known as the 'African Booker' and regarded as Africa's leading literary award". (The Booker -- all the Booker variations, from the Man to the Russian one -- are for novels (well, save the International one, which is an author/career prize), but for some reason African authors must make do with no more than 10,000 words ?)"
Orhofer also raises another important issue discussed by our Ikhide. ENJOY!