There’s no substitute, really, for reading these short stories yourself, since any attempt to summarise, categorise and otherwise describe them will fall far short of the actual dinkum works themselves.
But let me say that Liesl Jobson has been published in many short story collections and that this, her first solo collection, is a book worth reading — and owning, so that you may have the pleasure of rereading it.
Alert! The shortlist for the Thirteenth Caine Prize for African Writing has just been announced.
This year’s list is devoid of South African entries but includes an unprecedented four Nigerian writers and one from Sierra Leone. It would seem that Rotimi Babatunde, last year’s Nigerian winner, has spurred on his compatriots.
The winner of this year’s £10,000 prize will be announced on 8 July at Bodleian Library, Oxford.
BOOK LIVE sends its congratulations to the shortlistees, as follows:
- Elnathan John (Nigeria) “Bayan Layi” from Per Contra, Issue 25 (USA, 2012)
- Tope Folarin (Nigeria) “Miracle” from Transition, Issue 109 (Bloomington, 2012)
- Pede Hollist (Sierra Leone) “Foreign Aid” from Journal of Progressive Human Services, Vol. 23.3 (Philadelphia, 2012)
- Abubakar Adam Ibrahim (Nigeria) “The Whispering Trees” from The Whispering Trees, published by Parrésia Publishers (Lagos, 2012)
- Chinelo Okparanta (Nigeria) “America” from Granta, Issue 118 (London, 2012)
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The shortlist for the 2013 Caine Prize for African Writing has been announced today (Wednesday 15 May) – and among the five stories chosen are an unprecedented four Nigerian entries.
The Chair of judges, art historian and broadcaster, Gus Casely-Hayford said, “The shortlist was selected from 96 entries from 16 African countries. They are all outstanding African stories that were drawn from an extraordinary body of high quality submissions.”
Gus described the shortlist saying, “The five contrasting titles interrogate aspects of things that we might feel we know of Africa – violence, religion, corruption, family, community – but these are subjects that are deconstructed and beautifully remade. These are challenging, arresting, provocative stories of a continent and its descendants captured at a time of burgeoning change.”
The winner of the £10,000 prize is to be announced at a celebratory dinner at the Bodleian Library, Oxford, on Monday 8 July.
The 2013 shortlist comprises:
- Elnathan John (Nigeria) ‘Bayan Layi’ from Per Contra, Issue 25 (USA, 2012) www.percontra.net
- Tope Folarin (Nigeria) ‘Miracle’ from Transition, Issue 109 (Bloomington, 2012) http://dubois.fas.harvard.edu/transition-magazine
- Pede Hollist (Sierra Leone) ‘Foreign Aid’ from Journal of Progressive Human Services, Vol. 23.3 (Philadelphia, 2012) http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/wphs20#.UZOV4bVlk_g
- Abubakar Adam Ibrahim (Nigeria) ‘The Whispering Trees’ from The Whispering Trees, published by Parrésia Publishers (Lagos, 2012) http://www.parresiapublishers.com/
- Chinelo Okparanta (Nigeria) ‘America’ from Granta, Issue 118 (London, 2012) www.granta.com
As always the stories will be available to read online on our website www.caineprize.com and will be published with the 2013 workshop stories in our forthcoming anthology A Memory This Size in July 2013 by New Internationalist and seven co-publishers in Africa.
Alongside Gus on the panel of judges this year are award-winning Nigerian-born artist, Sokari Douglas Camp; author, columnist and Lord Northcliffe Emeritus Professor at UCL, John Sutherland; Assistant Professor at Georgetown University, Nathan Hensley and the winner of the Caine Prize in its inaugural year, Leila Aboulela. Once again, the winner of the £10,000 Caine Prize will be given the opportunity of taking up a month’s residence at Georgetown University, as a Writer-in-Residence at the Lannan Center for Poetics and Social Practice. The award will cover all travel and living expenses. The winner will also be invited to take part in the Open Book Festival in Cape Town in September 2013.
Last year the Caine Prize was won by Nigerian writer Rotimi Babatunde. He has subsequently co-authored a play Feast for the Young Vic and the Royal Court theatres in London.
Dates for the Diary
This year the shortlisted writers will be reading from their work at the Royal Over-Seas League on Thursday, 4 July at 7pm and at the Southbank Centre, on Sunday, 7 July at 6.30pm. On Friday, 5 July at 2-5pm and Saturday, 6 July at 5pm the shortlisted writers will also take part in the Africa Writes Festival at The British Library, organised by ASAUK and the Royal African Society.
Op die RSG-radioprogram Kortom het Susan Beyers onlangs een van Dot Serfontein se kortverhale, getitel “Basie”, voorgelees.
Dié verhaal handel oor ’n besonderse verhouding tussen die spreker en ‘n hond met die naam Basie. Die storie kom uit die bundel Amper my mense.
Luister na die potgooi:
In ’n artikel vir By skryf André Pretorius, wie se Eilande en enklaves verlede jaar verskyn het, oor sy reise deur Europa en hoe hy die mitiese Adamastor, die versinnebeelding van Tafelberg, in Italië raakgeloop het:
Dit is ’n Kaapse storie, maar hy ontspring ver van die Kaap.
In die Italiaanse hertogstadjie Mantua (Mantova) word ’n prehistoriese veldslag steeds geveg: Federico II Gonzaga, hertog van Mantua, het die skilder Giulio Romano aangestel om sy plesierpaleis, die Palazzo Te, te versier.
e-Boek opsies – Laai nou af!
Nelia Vivier from Get It Cape Town caught up with Liesl Jobson to discuss her newly released collection of short stories, Ride the Tortoise. Describing Jobson as a “raconteur of sexuality”, Vivier asked about her candid style of flash fiction, which Jobson said “is about holding the moments”.
They also spoke about the recent surge of popularity in erotic fiction, spurred on by 50 Shades of Grey, with Jobson commenting that she appreciates how “it gave women permission to say, ‘This is what I like’, ‘That makes me feel good’, ‘This is what I want you to do to me’.”
The long-awaited short-story collection, Ride the Tortoise by the queen of flash fiction, Liesl Jobson of Plumstead, is on the shelves. Nelia Vivier gets up close and personal with the author who is internationally acclaimed for her mastery of palm-of-the-hand stories.
Out on the open sea, cold and wet, you catch the spray, the backsplash made by the person in front. It is the meticulous clockwork of a team, as you ride into the wind, over the wave. There is no time to think, only to focus, on the position of your shoulder, the movement of your arm, the turning of the wrist … 17 points in one cycle, experiencing rhythm and precision, like each note of a musical symphony. Knowing at any minute the elemental sea can swallow you whole. In reality, we always come home.
Mfuneko Toyana from the Wits Vuvuzela attended a reading by Jobson at the Wartenweiler Library’s Writing Center last week and commented on how her writing offers readers “the disjointed, jarring confrontations with the self; with the elusive inner being”.
Liesel Jobson writes with an intense, explicit sense of self-awareness that almost overpowers the reader who picks up her book – if not the author herself.
She admitted as much to the audience in a reading of her latest collection of short stories, Ride the Tortise, at the Wartenweiler Library’s Writing Center on Wednesday evening.
H. P. van Coller (25) skryf dat die Afrikaanse literatuur in die 1990’s gereeld “’n obsessionele belangstelling in en bemoeienis met die geskiedenis” het, wat voltrek word tussen die pole van “nostalgie en parodie”. Nostalgie is ’n “hunkering na iets wat onherroeplik verby is”, terwyl hy parodie omskryf as “die belaglikmakende nabootsing, omwerking, travestie van ’n oorspronklike gegewe” (25–26).
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