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2015 Commonwealth Short Story Prize Shortlist Announced, Including Two South African Authors

Five African authors – including two South Africans – have made the shortlist for the 2015 Commonwealth Short Story Prize.

The shortlisted South Africans are Jayne Bauling, for “Left”, and Fred Khumalo, for “Legs of Thunder”.

This year’s edition of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize attracted a record number of nearly 4 000 entries. The shortlist – 22 stories from 11 countries – was chosen by judges Leila Aboulela, Fred D’Aguiar, Marina Endicott, Witi Ihimaera, Bina Shah and chair Romesh Gunesekera. Five regional winners will be announced on 28 April.

Other African authors on the list are Alexander Ikawah and Muthoni wa Gichuru of Kenya, and Lesley Nneka Arimah of Nigeria.

2015 Commonwealth Short Story Prize shortlist:

Rachel Stevenson (United Kingdom)
Alexander Ikawah (Kenya)
Alecia McKenzie (Jamaica)
Jennifer Mills (Australia)
Mary Rokonadravu (Fiji)
Souvankham Thammavongsa (Canada)
Jayne Bauling (South Africa)
Fred Khumalo (South Africa)

Lesley Nneka Arimah (Nigeria)
Toodesh Ramesar (Trinidad and Tobago)
Maria Reva (Canada)
Jessica White (Australia)
Amina Farah (Canada)
Steve Charters (New Zealand)
Susan Yardley (Australia)
Meenakshi Gautam Chaturvedi (India)
Jonathan Tel (United Kingdom)
Muthoni wa Gichuru (Kenya)
Kevin Jared Hosein (Trinidad and Tobago)
Siddhartha Gigoo (India)
Shahnaz Habib (India)
Darren Doyle (Trinidad and Tobago)

Feast, Famine and PotluckDreaming of LightStepping SoloBauling is the author of Stepping Solo and Dreaming of Light. Last year, she was shortlisted for a 2014 Golden Baobab Prize and was runner-up in the Short Story Day Africa competition, Feast, Famine and Potluck. Her story “Flight” was shortlisted for the 2012 Commonwealth Short Story Prize.

From “Left”

His accent is strange and rich to her ears. She must strain to understand what he is saying and even then the sense of it sometimes slips past her. His name, she knows from the board at the entrance downstairs, is Szymanski. She has never attempted it, nervous of mispronunciation, although her own name is nearly unrecognisable on his tongue.

She thinks of inviting him to call her by her first name, but suspects he would find it improper. He might even be alarmed, thinking her about to impose, to burden him.

She had never anticipated that loss would make her timid, fearful of oppressing others with her grief.

Touch My BloodZulu Boy Gone CrazyBitches' BrewKhumalo is the author of Zulu Boy Gone Crazy: Hilarious Tales Post Polokwane, the European Union Literary Award-winning novel Bitches’ Brew and a memoir, Touch My Blood, which shortlisted for the Alan Paton Prize for Non-fiction in 2007.

From “Legs of Thunder”

Look, she would say, you can clean tripe for hygienic purposes; you can package it glamorously; you can market it whichever way you want to upmarket consumers; you can call it exotic names – mala mogodu, itwani, upense, or whatever tickles your fancy. But for crying in a bucket don’t pulverize the darn thing by soaking it in bleach. When you do that, it turns completely white and textureless. With the colour gone, the funk is gone; the grit is gone; the grease is gone. And with the funk and the grit and the grease gone, the flavour is gone! So, what’s the point? Might as well eat bleached dishwashing rags and bleached veggies! Nomcebo was so determined to prepare a dish of proper tripe for dinner she did not mind driving up the busy Louis Botha Avenue, all the way to Hillbrow. Tripe and dumplings, ahhhhh …

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Recent comments:

  • Maire
    April 1st, 2015 @12:49 #

    Well, this is fabulous news!


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