Getting Our Book Groove Back


As I pick up a dogeared book out of a basket, I wonder when my copy of Ramadhan Ali's 1976  "Africa at the Olympics" will arrive. It's Monday in Baltimore and the London opening ceremony takes place in a few days. If Ali's title is anything to go by, it'd be an interesting peek into the history of the games from an African perspective but there's no doubt Africa is at the Olympics.

So I thought that was a good way to break the dry spell on Vitabubooks.

Baltimore's had some heat lately but the dog days of summer were only partly 
responsible for the drought. Vb's had "book famine"-- a sensational condition brought on by more than a hundred and one reasons. So to help get our groove back, we're going to ease in with stories that made the Caine Prize list.

As you probably know, Nigeria's 
Rotimi Babatunde won the 13th annual Caine Prize for African Writing described as Africa’s leading literary award, for his short story entitled ‘Bombay's Republic’ from 'Mirabilia Review' Vol. 3.9 (Lagos, 2011). http://mirabilia.webs.com/


The Chair of Judges, Bernardine Evaristo MBE, announced Rotimi Babatunde as the winner of the £10,000 prize at a dinner held this evening (Monday, 2 July) at the Bodleian Library in Oxford.

Bernardine Evaristo said: “Bombay's Republic vividly describes the story of a Nigerian soldier fighting in the Burma campaign of World War Two. It is ambitious, darkly humorous and in soaring, scorching prose exposes the exploitative nature of the colonial project and the psychology of Independence.”

Also shortlisted were:

Billy Kahora (Kenya) ‘Urban Zoning’ from ‘McSweeney’s’ Vol. 37  (San Francisco, 2011) www.mcsweeneys.net
Stanley Kenani (Malawi) ‘Love on Trial’ from ‘For Honour and Other Stories’ published by eKhaya/Random House Struik (Cape Town, 2011) www.randomstruik.co.za  
Melissa Tandiwe Myambo (Zimbabwe) ‘La Salle de Départ’ from 'Prick of the Spindle' Vol. 4.2 (New Orleans, June, 2010) www.prickofthespindle.com
Constance Myburgh (South Africa) ‘Hunter Emmanuel’ from ‘Jungle Jim’ Issue 6, (Cape Town, 2011) www.junglejim.org


In another book event centered on Africa,  Emmanuel Siguake and Ivor Hartmann announced the long-list for the African Roar 2012 anthology.  This year they decided to start with a long-list first and will announce a final Table of Contents between June - August 2012. Below is a list of titles and writers who made it onto the long-list:


Madams by Abigail George
Reliving Christmas by Ugo Chime
Betrayal by Su'eddie V. Agema
Sheltering Hearts by Gothataone Moeng
The Colours of Silence by Ifesinachi Okoli
Soldiers of the Stone by Uko Bendi Udo
What Gospel Brought by Zino Asalor
If Walls could Talk by Fungai Machirori
Tlaki comes to Jozi by Noosie C. Petlele
Of Winds and Reeds by Dango Mkandawire
The Shady Taxi Driver by Hana Njau-Okolo
The Hero by Murenga Joseph Chikowero
The Reluctant Urchin by Patrick O. Ochieng
Understanding English by Ola Awonubi
A Married Man by Sindanni Mwella
How Nnedi Got Her Curved Spine by Nnedi Okorafor
The Revenge of Kamalaza Mayele by Vukani G. Nyirenda
You Smile by Chika Onyenezi
We Can See You by Abdul Adan
Sethunya Likes Girls Better by Wame Molefhe
The Quiet Man by Okechukwu Otukwu
Alaye by Fredrick C. Nwonwu
Meeting by T.C. Christopher
Mai Eddy’s Return by Emmanuel Sigauke
A Mouse amongst Men by Ivor Hartmann
Bottle by Dawn Promislow
What Has Horns Can Never Be Hidden by Christopher Mlalaz

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