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Caine Prize Fiction Friday: "Bayan Layi" by Elnathan John

Nigerian author Elnathan John has been shortlisted for the 2013 Caine Prize for African Writing for his short story “Bayan Layi”, published in Issue 25 of Per Contra. John is up against fellow Nigerians Tope Folarin, Abubakar Adam Ibrahim and Chinelo Okparanta, as well as Pede Hollist from Sierra Leone, for the £10 000 prize, the winner of which will be announced on 8 July.

While you await the announcement of the award, we invite you to read “Bayan Layi”:

The boys who sleep under the Kuka tree in Bayan Layi like to boast about the people they have killed. I never join in because I have never killed a man. Banda has, but he doesn’t like to talk about it. He just smokes wee-wee while they talk over each other’s heads. Gobedanisa’s voice is always the loudest. He likes to remind everyone of the day he strangled a man. I never interrupt his story even though I was there with him and saw what happened. Gobedanisa and I had gone into a lambu to steal sweet potatoes, but the farmer had surprised us while we were there. As he chased us, swearing to kill us if he caught us, he fell into a bush trap for antelopes. Gobedanisa did not touch him. We just stood by and watched as he struggled and struggled and then stopped struggling.

African VioletTo See the Mountain and Other StoriesA Life in Full and Other Stories10 Years of the Caine Prize for African WritingWork in Progress and Other StoriesJambula Tree and Other StoriesJungfrau and Other Stories

Book details

  • A Life in Full and Other Stories: The Caine Prize for African Writing 2010 by The Caine Prize for African Writing
    EAN: 9781906523374
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!

Image courtesy Flash Point News


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