A report from News Americas Now.
A Caribbean national has emerged the winner of the 2018 Commonwealth short story prize, the world’s most global literary prize.
Having been named the Caribbean regional winner for the Prize in 2015, and again this year, Kevin Jared Hosein of Trinidad and Tobago convinced the judges, chaired by Sarah Hall, with “a truly crafted piece of fiction’ that was ‘immediately and uniformly admired.”
His ‘In Passage,’ written in Trinidadian Creole, won out of 5,200 entries from 48 countries. The story tells of a man who hears a story in a bar about a family living away from society, and sets out to find them. It sends the midlife crisis-ridden protagonist into the wilderness in search for a mystery woman – with unforeseen consequences for others, and for himself.
Hosein received his £5,000 award in Cyprus on Wednesday night. He is the author of three novels: ‘The Beast of Kukuyo,’ which won him the Burt award for Caribbean literature, ‘The Repenters,’ which was shortlisted for the Bocas prize, and ‘Littletown Secrets.’
“I wasn’t expecting it. First to be among this eclectic quintet of winning stories, all with central resonating themes – happiness, connection, isolation, freedom, repression, acceptance,” Hosein was quoted as saying. “Then to be chosen from that, I feel incredibly honoured that this Trinidadian tale has travelled so far. I hope others in my region are inspired by this accomplishment.”
In a Facebook post, Hosein added: “We’re more than our crimes, than our corruptions, than the sins that befall us.”