Interview with Okwiri Oduor, winner of 2014 Caine Prize / by Nick Mulgrew

Mail & Guardian, 22 August 2014

An interview with Okwiri Oduor, winner of the 2014 Caine Prize for African Writing.

"When I first read your Caine-winning story, 'My Father’s Head', I set out to find more of your work. I couldn’t seem to find anything. Then I came across a young Kenyan writer called Claudette Oduor, who I thought initially was your sister or something. I had visions of this amazing writing family — until I realised, obviously, that it was you all along. Why the change in pen name? 

I came full circle. For a long time, I had been running away from many things, including this name that had been given to me at birth, but which I had grown up believing was rough and ugly and unacceptable. The things I believed about my name can be taken as metaphors for how I saw myself and my writing as well, and so coming to terms with the person I was meant first and foremost carrying my own name with no shame. I chose to be unapologetic about being myself."

Read the full story here.