CBC Literary Prizes

Take Me Home With You by Irehobhude Iyioha

Irehobhude Iyioha has made the 2021 CBC Short Story Prize longlist with Take Me Home With You.

2021 CBC Short Story Prize longlist

Irehobhude Iyioha is a Nigerian-Canadian writer living in Victoria. (Submitted by Irehobhude Iyioha)

Irehobhude Iyioha has made the 2021 CBC Short Story Prize longlist for Take Me Home With You.

The winner of the 2021 CBC Short Story Prize will receive $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts, have their work published on CBC Books and have the opportunity to attend a two-week writing residency at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. Four finalists will each receive $1,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts and have their work published on CBC Books.

The shortlist will be announced on April 22 and the winner will be announced on April 29.

About Irehobhude Iyioha

Irehobhude (Ireh) O. Iyioha is a Nigerian Canadian writer of fiction. Her stories have appeared in Harvard University's Transition Magazine, Litro, MTLS and in edited anthologies. Her story, This Time It Will be All Right, received a special commendation from the 2016 Caine Prize judges. In 2020, her novel, Those Who Come This Way, was shortlisted for the UK's BPA First Novel Award. She has also completed a short story anthology. She holds Masters and doctoral degrees in law from the University of Toronto and the University of British Columbia. She is currently an assistant professor at the faculty of law at the University of Victoria.

Entry in five-ish words

"Black-Métis girl residential school 1960s."

The story's source of inspiration

"I have in recent times returned to studying the history of slavery and of the residential school system in Canada to inform my academic and advocacy work. I have read a number of deeply moving personal stories of people who suffered through these racist institutions, got to learn of the accounts of Métis who had been in residential schools and read about the persistent challenges of individuals who identify as Black and Indigenous. One day I asked, what if there were children, perhaps lighter-skinned Black-Indigenous/Afro-Métis children who were taken into the system and whose stories have not been told?

"I didn't have any answers, but I knew I could tell a small part of these difficult histories (of slavery and residential schools) through the voice of a unique character. The distinctive multi-racial heritage of the narrator allowed me to explore the absurdity of the 'ideologies' at the heart of racist systems and institutions. "

First lines

They here for me. Mama and Kiki, all two a-them with bamboo baskets, rattan hats, caribou frocks and boots. They here to take me home. They don't look no different than the first day we was here at Shubenacadie Indian School, but they shoulders be bowing a-teeny bit more. I ne'er seen the two a-them in so long, not since First Minister Pearson's lawmen toted us here to Shubenacadie.

Mama cried, asking when she was gone see her girls again, as she jumped into Mr. Beadle's truck.

The lanky Mr. Beadle, son a-the devil hisself and houseman to all a-them reverend sisters, be up at the helm; he hauled us here, my sister Kiki and me. Mama cried, asking when she was gone see her girls again, as she jumped into Mr. Beadle's truck.

About the 2021 CBC Short Story Prize

The winner of the 2021 CBC Short Story Prize will receive $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts, have their work published on CBC Books and attend a two-week writing residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts and Creativity. Four finalists will each receive $1,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts and have their work published on CBC Books.

The 2021 CBC Poetry Prize is open for submissions until May 31, 2021. The 2022 CBC Short Story Prize will open in September and the 2022 CBC Nonfiction Prize will open in January 2022.

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