Brixton library to host top African writers

Written by on June 27, 2016 in Books, News, What's On - Comments Off on Brixton library to host top African writers
The shortlisted Caine prize authors (l to r): Bongani Kona (Zimbabwe); Lidudumalingani (South Africa); Tope Folarin (Nigeria); Lesley Nneka Arimah (Nigeria); and Abdul Adan (Somalia/Kenya).

The shortlisted Caine prize authors (l to r): Bongani Kona (Zimbabwe); Lidudumalingani (South Africa); Tope Folarin (Nigeria); Lesley Nneka Arimah (Nigeria); and Abdul Adan (Somalia/Kenya).

Brixton library will this week join Oxford’s Bodleian library and the British Library in hosting five writers shortlisted for the Caine Prize, Africa’s leading literary award.

They are touring the country before the winner is announced at a ceremony in the Bodleian next Monday (4 July).

On Friday (1 July), Brixton library will host their last stop before the ceremony. The free event will be a discussion with the five authors chaired by book critic, editor and broadcaster Ellah Wakatama Allfrey, OBE, who was appointed deputy chair of the Caine Prize in 2012.

“This is a fantastic chance for Lambeth readers to meet these new African writers while they are all together in the UK,” said Tim O’Dell, Brixton library’s reader development officer.

Brixton resident, actor Adjoa Andoh, is one of the prize judges this year.

The five shortlisted authors are

Abdul Adan (Somalia/Kenya) for The Lifebloom Gift published in The Gonjon Pin and Other Stories: The Caine Prize for African Writing 2014 (New Internationalist, United Kingdom, 2014). His work has appeared in African magazines Kwani, Jungle Jim, Gambit, Okike, Storytime, SCARF and elsewhere. He was a participant in the 2014 Caine Prize workshop in Zimbabwe, and is a founding member of the Jalada collective.

Lesley Nneka Arimah (Nigeria) for What it Means When a Man Falls From the Sky published in Catapult (Catapult, USA, 2015). Lesley Nneka Arimah is a Nigerian writer living in Minneapolis. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s and other publications.

Tope Folarin (Nigeria) for Genesis published in Callaloo (Johns Hopkins University Press, USA, 2014). Tope Folarin won the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2013, and in 2014 he was named in the Africa39 list of the most promising African writers under 39. His work has been published in various anthologies and journals. He lives in Washington DC.

 Bongani Kona (Zimbabwe) for At your Requiem published in Incredible Journey: Stories That Move You (Burnet Media, South Africa, 2015). Bongani Kona is a freelance writer and contributing editor of Chimurenga. His writing has appeared in the Mail & Guardian (South Africa), Rolling Stone (South Africa), Sunday Times and other publications and websites. He is enrolled as a masters student in the Creative Writing department at the University of Cape Town.

Lidudumalingani (South Africa) for Memories we lost published in Incredible Journey: Stories That Move You (Burnet Media, South Africa, 2015). Lidudumalingani is a writer, filmmaker and photographer. He was born in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa, in a village called Zikhovane. Lidudumalingani has published short stories, non-fiction and criticism in various publications. His films have been screened at various film festivals.

The Caine Prize was launched in 2000 to encourage and highlight the richness and diversity of African writing.

About the Author

Alan Slingsby moved to Brixton just as the 1981 uprising began. His nearest pub was the Effra and nearest off licence the Frontline — long gone in an earlier wave of closures of treasured community establishments. Has edited newspapers for the National Union of Students and National Union of Teachers. Now makes a living designing magazines and books and anything else people will pay him for.

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