Sunday 10 July 2011

Caine Prize Shortlist, Southbank Reading

Just back from a reading with all the shortlisted authors for the Caine Prize. I was 15 minutes late so I only heard 3.5 stories but all 3.5 were excellent. The winner will be announced tomorrow. I have a favourite but I wouldn't place a bet on it because the standard is so high. You can read the entire short list here.

Lauri Kubuitsile author of 'In the Spirit of McPhineas Lata. Her story was very humorous. It left the audience laughing at loud. Read her blog here.

NoViolet Bulawayo. Author of Hitting Budapest. Particularly loved the fro. Also the name is very unusual. She described herself as a 'literary activist' but unfortunately there was not enough time for her to expand.

Beatrice Lamwaka author of Butterfly Dreams. She had an interesting explanation for why she used the butterfly as a metaphor in her short story. It's because butterflies are difficult to catch, like dreams.

David Medalie, Author of The Mistress' Dog. I really enjoyed his story. It was simple, yet imagined in such detail.

Unfortunately I didn't get a photo of the last author on the shortlist, Tim Keegan. He's a Historian, which is right up my street. Ah well.

Of course the perennial question of whether the writer's considered themselves 'African Writers' came up. Eye roll. Been there. Done that. I liked Tim Keegan's answer. He's a white South African and he likes being called an African Writer because being African is part of his identity, even though his skin is white. Short, sweet and simple. Ok folks. Back to the deadlines.

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