To celebrate 10 years of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize we are inviting previous winners to share something new with us—it might be a story, a podcast, an interview or a blog. Here 2020 Prize winner Kritika Pandey is in conversation with the Chair of the Prize Nii Ayikwei Parkes. To read Kritika’s prizewinning story, ’The Great Indian Tee and Snakes’, click here.
Listen to Kritika and Nii discussing Kritika’s prize-winning story, her novel-in-progress, writing from lesser-known contexts, the importance of language, and much else.
Kritika Pandey is a Pushcart-nominated writer from Jharkhand, India, and a graduate of the MFA for Poets and Writers, University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is the recipient of a 2021 residency grant at The Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico and a 2020 grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation. Her works have appeared or are forthcoming in The Kenyon Review, Granta, The Common, The Bombay Literary Magazine, Raleigh Review, and UCity Review, among others. She is a 2014 Young India Fellow and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering from BIT, Mesra. She is the overall winner of the 2020 Commonwealth Short Story Prize, having been shortlisted in 2018 as well as 2016.
Nii Ayikwei Parkes
Nii Ayikwei Parkes is the author of six books: two collections of poetry, The Makings of You (Peepal Tree) and The Geez (Peepal Tree); two books for children under the name K.P. Kojo, The Parade (Frances Lincoln) and Tales From Africa (Puffin); a Ga language book, The Ga Picture Alphabet; and the acclaimed hybrid novel, Tail of the Blue Bird. His work has won many awards – including Ghana’s ACRAG award and France’s Prix Baudelaire – and been recognised with selections from the Commonwealth Prize, the USBBY List, the Poetry Book Society, the Walcott Prize, LIRE magazine, ARTE, the Jhalak Children’s and Young Adults Prize, Poems on the Underground, and the Caine Prize. In 2014 he was named one of Africa’s 39 most promising authors of the new generation by the World Book Capital Africa 39 Project. Nii Ayikwei serves on the editorial board of World Literature Today, and has served as a judge for several literature prizes including the Commonwealth Prize, the NSK Neustadt Prize and the Harvill Secker Young Translators’ Prize.