Following winning the lotto, five people do something unexpected. The Street Sweep is expertly written, with fluid language that is replete with vivid imagery and profound meaning. Hope is the greatest asset a man can have, according to Goretti Kyomuhendo, the chair of the AKO Caine Prize Judging Panel. Although optimism, trust, and betrayal coexist in this novel, it ultimately centers on the redemptive power of hope.
“What stood out for the judges was the story’s subtle, but the powerful ending, and how everything brilliantly comes together in a clever twist, that sees Getu transform,” the author continued. “And the reader was pushed to question the thin line between making it, and the necessary subjugation of the soul.” Meron frequently discusses migration in her writing, and she does it in a way that is particularly stunning in light of the recent events in Ethiopia.
The winning piece is a masterwork of subtlety that puts the effects of foreign aid on African nations in context. Born in Addis Abeba, Meron is an Ethiopian-American author who immigrated to the United States as a young boy via Germany. The 2020 Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing goes to her.