Kevin Jared Hosein is 2018 Commonwealth Short Story Prize Overall Winner
25 July, 2018 (Commonwealth Writers Press Release) Kevin Jared Hosein, from Trinidad and Tobago, has been announced as the overall winner of the world’s most global literary prize.
Having been named the Caribbean regional winner for the Prize in 2015, and again this year, Kevin convinced the judges, chaired by Sarah Hall, with ‘a truly crafted piece of fiction’ that was ‘immediately and uniformly admired’.
‘Our winning story, Passage, was immediately and uniformly admired by the judges. It is an uncanny bar story, about a man who hears a strange tale, only to become part of the tale’s re-lived strangeness. It balances between formal language and demotic, ideas of civility and ferality, is tightly woven and suspenseful, beautifully and eerily atmospheric, and finally surprising. It is, in essence, all a reader could want from the short story form; a truly crafted piece of fiction that transports the reader into another world, upends expectations, and questions the nature of narratives and narrative consequence‘.
– Sarah Hall, 2018 Chair of Judges
Kevin is the author of three books: The Beast of Kukuyo (Burt Award for Caribbean Literature), The Repenters (OCM Bocas Prize for Fiction shortlist) and Littletown Secrets. He has been twice shortlisted for the Small Axe Prize for Prose, and his work has been featured in numerous publications, such as Lightspeed, adda and, most recently, We Mark Your Memory: Writing from the Descendants of Indenture.
In ‘Passage’, Kevin sends a midlife crisis-ridden protagonist into the wilderness in search for a mystery woman – with unforeseen consequences for others, and for himself.
‘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. 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’.
– Kevin Jared Hosein
Read the winning story here