Sunday Times Books LIVE Community Sign up

Login to Sunday Times Books LIVE

Forgotten password?

Forgotten your password?

Enter your username or email address and we'll send you reset instructions

Sunday Times Books LIVE

Archive for the ‘Malawi’ Category

Roger Southall Reviews Region-building in Southern Africa

Region-building in Southern Africa : Progress, problems and prospectsVerdict: carrot

The history of “regional integration” in Southern Africa is unfortunate. Southern Rhodesia dominated Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland in the Central African Federation in the 1950s; SA lorded it over the former high commission territories (Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland) in the Southern African Customs Union from 1910 to 1992; and when regional countries had formed their own bloc to counter apartheid hegemony via the Southern African Development Co-ordination Conference from 1980, they encountered crude military, political and economic destabilisation by Pretoria. No wonder “regional integration” in Southern Africa has gone out of fashion, to be replaced by a much wider focus on “region building”.

Book Details

  • Region-building in Southern Africa : Progress, problems and prospects edited by Chris Saunders, Gwinyayi A Dzinesa, Dawn Nagar
    EAN: 9781868145768
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!

» read article

3Bute Illustrates Stories by Caine Prize Shortlistees Constance Myburgh and Melissa Myambo

For Honour and Other StoriesThe online anthology 3Bute, in collaboration with the Caine Prize for African Writing, is illustrating the five short stories nominated for this prestigious award. The illustrations allow readers to add links to articles, tweets and other content that provides context to the stories. 3Bute uses this format to illustrate stories on Africa, as it adds context that is otherwise missing in mainstream media.

They previously illustrated Stanley Kenani’s “Love on Trial” and below are the second two illustrations in this series, Melissa Tandiwe Myambo’s “La Salle de Depart” and Constance Myburgh’s “Hunter Emmanuel“.

Melissa Tandiwe Myambo’s “La Salle de Depart”, from Prick of the Spindle:

In La Salle de Départ, the author smuggles a critique of male gender bias in African societies using a story of a young emigre struggling with an obligation to his Senegalese family he thinks will jeopardize his “modern” lifestyle in New York city.

Constance Myburgh’s “Hunter Emmanuel” from Jungle Jim:

Lumberjack Hunter Emmanuel is trying to solve the mystery of how a woman’s leg got severed – and why he cares. Constance Myburgh’s Hunter Emmanuel is one of five stories shortlisted for this year’s CainePrize, Africa’s leading literary award, now in its thirteenth year.

Book details

» read article

3Bute Illustrates Caine Prize Shortlistee Stanley Kenani’s “Love on Trial”

For Honour and Other StoriesThe online anthology 3Bute, in collaboration with the Caine Prize for African Writing, is illustrating the five short stories nominated for this prestigious award. The illustrations allow for readers to add links to articles, videos, tweets, ect, to provide context to the stories. 3Bute also uses this format to illustrate reports on Africa, adding context otherwise missing in mainstream media.

The first of these stories is Stanley Kenani’s “Love on Trial”, from his book For Honour and Other Stories:


In ‘Love on Trial,’ a village in Malawi becomes the epicenter of a media storm as a young man defends himself against the country’s anti-gay laws. Stanley Kenani’s ‘Love on Trial’ is one of five stories shortlisted for this year’s Caine Prize, Africa’s leading literary award, now in its thirteenth year.

Book details

» read article

Stephanie Saville Reviews When Hoopoes Go to Heaven by Gaile Parkin

When Hoopoes Go to HeavenVerdict: a tenuous carrot from Saville, who didn’t find the book gripping but said it was ‘readable’

GROWING up is never easy. But it’s especially hard when you are
living in a new country, your
parents are dead and you’re being raised by your grandparents. If you’re a deep-thinking 10-year-old, it can be even more agonising.

When Hoopoes go to Heaven is a sweet story about Benedict, who loves nothing more than to spend time alone in nature in his garden in Swaziland.

Book Details

» read article

Caine Prize Fiction Friday: “Love on Trial” by Stanley Kenani

For Honour and Other StoriesStanley KenaniMalawian author Stanley Kenani has been shortlisted for the 2012 Caine Prize for African Writing for his short story “Love on Trial”, published in For Honour and Other Stories.

Kenani is up against Nigeria’s Rotimi Babatunde, Kenya’s Billy Kahora, Zimbabwe’s Melissa Tandiwe Myambo and South Africa’s Constance Myburgh for the £10 000 prize, the winner of which will be announced on 2 July. Last week we featured Kahora’s shortlisted story, “Urban Zoning”.

While you await the announcement of the award, we invite you to read “Love on Trial”:

Mr Lapani Kachingwe’s popularity has soared. He has always been popular because of his love for strong drink. But from the time he stumbled upon two young men in a toilet, his fame has reached levels he never imagined. In principle his story is for free, whether he is sober or drunk, but in practice if you want to get down to the finest details, ‘the juiciest parts’ as he calls them, you have to buy him a tot of kachasu, the spirit distilled at Mr Nashoni’s Village Entertainment Centre on the outskirts of Chipiri village. In truth, nobody ever finds out what the strands of those details are in Mr Kachingwe’s story. After listening to it many times, one comes to the conclusion that whatever happened in that toilet, the long and the short of it is that Mr Kachingwe caught two boys, one of whom is Chipiri village’s own Charles Chikwanje and the other a stranger presumably from a neighbouring village, in flagrante.

To 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 StoriesDiscovering Home

Book details

Photo courtesy the Caine Prize

» read article

The 2012 Caine Prize for African Writing Shortlist

Alert! The shortlist for the Thirteenth Caine Prize for African Writing has just been announced. The winner of the £10 000 prize, currently held by Zimbabwe’s NoViolet Bulawayo, will be announced at a celebratory dinner at the Bodleian Library, Oxford, on Monday 2 July.

Rotimi BabatundeBilly KahoraStanley KenaniMelissa Tandiwe MyamboConstance Myburgh

BOOK LIVE sends its congratulations to the shortlistees, as follows:

~ ~ ~

Press release:

The shortlist for the 2012 Caine Prize for African Writing has been announced today (Tuesday 1 May) by Ben Okri OBE, the new Vice President of the Prize.

The Chair of judges, author and Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature Bernardine Evaristo MBE, has described the shortlist as “truly diverse fiction from a truly diverse continent.”

The Caine Prize, Africa’s leading literary award, is now in its thirteenth year. Involved from the beginning, Ben Okri, the internationally acclaimed Nigerian writer was announced as the Vice President of the Prize last week (26 April 2012). Ellah Allfrey OBE, deputy Editor of Granta magazine is the new Deputy Chair.

The 2012 shortlist comprises:

  • Rotimi Babatunde (Nigeria) ‘Bombay’s Republic’ from ‘Mirabilia Review’ Vol. 3.9 (Lagos, 2011)
  • Billy Kahora (Kenya) ‘Urban Zoning’ from ‘McSweeney’s’ Vol. 37 (San Francisco, 2011)
  • Stanley Kenani (Malawi) ‘Love on Trial’ from ‘For Honour and Other Stories’ published by eKhaya/Random House Struik (Cape Town, 2011)
  • Melissa Tandiwe Myambo (Zimbabwe) ‘La Salle de Départ’ from ‘Prick of the Spindle’ Vol. 4.2 (New Orleans, June, 2010)
  • Constance Myburgh (South Africa) ‘Hunter Emmanuel’ from ‘Jungle Jim’ Issue 6, (Cape Town, 2011)

In her first year as Caine Prize Administrator Lizzy Attree stated, “this year’s shortlist represents the best of short African fiction published worldwide. I’m looking forward to working with Ben Okri and Ellah Allfrey to continue to establish the Caine Prize as the mark of excellence in African literature.”

Selected from 122 entries from 14 African countries Bernardine Evaristo said, “I’m proud to announce that this shortlist shows the range of African fiction beyond the more stereotypical narratives. These stories have an originality and facility with language that made them stand out. We’ve chosen a bravely provocative homosexual story set in Malawi; a Nigerian soldier fighting in the Burma Campaign of WW2; a hardboiled noir tale involving a disembodied leg; a drunk young Kenyan who outwits his irate employers; and the tension between Senegalese siblings over migration and family responsibility.”

The winner of the £10,000 prize is to be announced at a celebratory dinner at the Bodleian Library, Oxford, on Monday 2 July.


For Honour and Other Stories

Book details

eBook options – Download now!

Images courtesy Guernica and Caine Prize

» read article

Women24 Reviews When Hoopoes Go to Heaven by Gaile Parkin

When Hoopoes Go to HeavenVerdict: carrot

Change is a constant for 10-year-old Benedict, from the deaths of his biological parents to the addition of a surprise new sibling.

Now he and his patchwork Malawian family face a new adventure, finding their way as outsiders, makwerekwere, in a close-knit community in Swaziland.

Book Details

» read article

UCT Marks the Passing of African Literature Scholar, Reuben Chirambo

The Unsung SongReuben ChiramboLast Monday, a special memorial service was held to pay tribute to Dr Reuben Chirambo, who passed away last week. Members of UCT’s Department of English Language and Literature gathered to honour the man not only regarded as “one of our most important scholars of African Literature” but also responsible for the education of two out of four members of the Books LIVE team. He will be greatly missed.

It’s with immense sadness that we mark the passing away of our dear friend and colleague, Dr Reuben Chirambo. Messages of condolence have been sent to us from all over—and the messages are remarkable in their consistency.

We mourn the loss of one of our most important scholars of African Literature at a time when this is one of the leading fields of enquiry within our discipline. So many of the messages have spoken about the untimeliness of Reuben’s passing away. Mbongiseni Buthelezi speaks for many of us when he says, “there was much that I was still hoping to learn from Reuben.”But quite apart from Reuben’s scholarship, there’s so much else that we had to learn from our friend and colleague—and as long as we take the trouble to remember that, Reuben’s legacy is something that remains with us.

Book details

Photo courtesy UCT

» read article

Modjaji's Bed Book of Short Stories Launched at FLF

Colleen Higgs & Henrietta Rose-Innes

When Colleen Higgs started the small independent publisher, Modjaji Books, it was with the express intention of creating a space for new writers to develop and emerge. At the launch of the fifteenth book on her list, Bed Book of Short Stories, held at the Franschhoek Literary Festival on Saturday, the rain queen quite literally appeared. Tears flowed as an overwhelmed Higgs beamed with delight as she showed off the latest addition to the Modjaji family.

Erika Coetzee, Arja Salafranca, Liesl Jobson, Pamela Newham, Ginny Swart, Rose Richards, Joanne Hichens, Colleen Higgs & Helen Walne

The Bed Book of Short StoriesShe said it had been an early goal to publish an anthology of short stories. “I love this form,” she said, “and I figured there had to be others who would want to read short stories too. There certainly are many who like to write them.” Another goal was to cast the net wide so as to include writers from countries across the border. The collection includes writers from Zimbabwe, Malawi, Botswana and Mozambique.

Joanne Hichens, who edited the collection, talked about the challenge and delight of working with new writers who were hungry for engagement on their writing and were keen and willing to take up her suggestions. She said she felt the responsibility acutely and found it was a gratifying process that informed her own growth as an editor: “Part of my learning curve was never to underestimate how a writer’s energy drives one to polish a story until it sparkles like a gem.” She noted that it felt at times like she was “the mother of thirty children!”

She saluted Higgs’ vision, saying she was a “brave publisher that takes risks”. She siad it was imperative to seek out new writers and to nurture and engage with fresh voices in order to expand the literary canon in South Africa.

Higgs said this publication was a testament to teamwork on every level. She acknowledged Lauri Kubuitsile who had read more than 300 stories and come up with the selection that called to her most strongly. Maire Fisher’s proof reading and Colleen Crawford-Cousins’ practical and emotional support had been supremely valuable.

She acknowledged the financial support of the Arts and Culture Trust that had enabled her to keep the resale price of the book down. Additionally, the support of Jenny Hobbs of the Franschhoek Literary Festival, Le Bon Vivant, the restaurant that hosted the launch and provided the delectable munchies, and Porcupine Ridge all contributed to a delightful welcome for the Bed Book of Short Stories.

Facebook gallery

Photos 1 – 20 out of 23

Book details

Book details

» read article

Call for Entries: 2011 PEN/Studzinski Literary Awards

New Writing from Africa 2009Alert! SA PEN has issued its call for entries for the £10 000 2011 PEN/Studzinsky Literary Awards – which are judged by JM Coetzee – and has announced that Margie Orford is set to replace Shaun Johnson on the PEN executive.

The winner of the inaugural PEN/Studzinksy award was Karen Jayes, who received the £5 000 first prize at the 2009 Franschhoek Literary Festival. Andrew Salomon took the £3 000 second prize, while Ceridwen Dovey and Nadia Davids shared the £2 000 third prize.

In a not-altogether-welcome shift of policy, SA PEN has reverted to the geographical scope of its award that was in place before it secured sponsorship from current benefactor John Studzinski. That is, only residents of SADC‘s fifteen countries may enter, whereas the inaugural award was open to the whole of Africa. (See the press release below for the full list of eligible countries.) Happily, the lack of any age restriction on entrants appears to remain intact.

3 000 to 5 000 word short fiction entries in English are invited from 1 March 2010; submission details will be posted to the SA PEN website on that date; no final closing deadline appears to have yet been set.

Here’s the complete press release from SA PEN:


Entries invited from 1 March 2010

The South African Centre of International PEN (SA PEN) is pleased to announce the launch of the second in the series of PEN/STUDZINSKI Literary Awards.

Entries for the award for original short stories in English are called for from 1 March 2010 and AFRICAN PENS, a compilation of the short-listed stories, will be published in mid-2011.

Prizes totalling £10 000 will once again be donated by American philanthropist and global investment banker, John Studzinski. The first, second and third prizes will be £5 000, £3 000 and £2 000, respectively.

Nobel Laureate and SA PEN Honorary Member, J.M. Coetzee, will once again select the winning entries.

The 2011 PEN/STUDZINSKI Literary Award aims to encourage creative writing in southern Africa and will offer talented writers an exciting opportunity to launch or develop a literary career. Twelve contributors to our earlier HSBC/SA PEN series have now published their own books, including Ceridwen Dovey who won the 2008 Sunday Times Fiction Prize. Petina Gappah, an early winner, went on to sign a three-book contract with Faber & Faber in the UK and Farrar Strauss & Giroux in the US. Three of the five short-listed stories for the Caine prize for African Writing first appeared in AFRICAN PENS 2007 – the model for AFRICAN PENS 2011. The story POISON, set in a threatened Cape Town, and written by author Henrietta Rose-Innes, was chosen by J.M, Coetzee as the winner of the 2007 HSBC/SA PEN Literary Award and it went on to win the 2008 Caine Prize of £10 000.

Our 2009 project, led by author Shaun Johnson, received over 800 entries from writers throughout Africa, but this year we revert to appealing only to writers living in the fifteen countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC*). The genre is still the short-story, this time between 3 000 and 5 000 words.

SA PEN is pleased to announce that author Margie Orford has agreed to take Shaun’s place on the SA PEN executive and that the Editorial Board for the 2011 award will comprise:

Anthony Fleischer (Chairman), novelist and President of SA PEN
Dianne Case, popular children’s author
John Gardener, English teacher, retired Head of Kingswood College & Bishops, published numerous articles and Bishops’ 150 year history of the school
Jeremy Lawrence, writer who has worked in journalism and publishing in London and South Africa
Adré Marshall, retired academic, author of book on Henry James and sundry poems, translator (French/English)
Peter Merrington, novelist, professor extraordinaire at the University of the Western Cape, ceramicist and motorcyclist
Margie Orford, writer and sometime journalist
Anne Schuster, novelist, poet, creative writing facilitator and publisher
J.M. Coetzee – Nobel Laureate (Final judge)

Writers who are citizens of SADC countries* are encouraged to prepare short stories for submission. Further information and detailed rules of entry will be posted on the SA PEN website,, from the 1 March 2010.
Previous publications featuring the shortlisted and winning stories from the 2005, 2006 and 2007 HSBC/SA PEN, and 2009 PEN/STUDZINSKI Literary Awards are: AFRICAN COMPASS (2005, New Africa Books), AFRICAN ROAD (2006, New Africa Books), AFRICAN PENS (2007, New Africa Books), NEW WRITING FROM AFRICA 2009 (2009, Johnson & KingJames Books).

* SADC countries: Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.


Here are the official rules of entry:

PEN/Studzinski Literary Award Rules of Entry 2011

Book details

» read article