‘Memories We Lost’ Wins 2016 Caine Prize for African Writing


South African Lidudumalingani has won the 2016 Caine Prize for African Writing for his short story ‘Memories We Lost’.

Lidudumalingani was presented with the £10,000 prize by chair of judges, Delia Jarret-Macauley, at a ceremony at the Bodleian Library in Oxford yesterday (4th July).

‘Memories We Lost’ tells the “emotionally charged” story of a girl who acts as protector of her sister, whose serious mental health problems cause consternation in a South African village. Her situation deteriorates as her care is entrusted to Nkunzi, a local man who employs traditional techniques to rid people of their demons.

Jarrett-Macauley said: “The winning story explores a difficult subject – how traditional beliefs in a rural community are used to tackle schizophrenia. This is a troubling piece, depicting the great love between two young siblings in a beautifully drawn Eastern Cape. Multi-layered, and gracefully narrated, this short story leaves the reader full of sympathy and wonder at the plight of its protagonists”.

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.

He was joined on the 2016 shortlist by Lesley Nneka Arimah from Nigeria for ‘What it Means When a Man Falls From the Sky’ published in Catapult (Catapult); Tope Folarin from Nigeria for ‘Genesis’ published in Callaloo (Johns Hopkins University Press), Bongani Kona from Zimbabwe for ‘At Your Requiem’ published in Incredible Journey: Stories That Move You (Burnet Media) and Abdul Adan from Somalia/Kenya for ‘The Lifebloom Gift’ published in The Gonjon Pin and Other Stories: The Caine Prize for African Writing 2014 (New Internationalist). Each shortlisted writer will receive £500.

Joining Jarrett-Macauley on the judging panel were actor Adjoa Andoh; writer and founder of Storymoja Festival, Muthoni Garland; associate professor and director of African American Studies at Georgetown Univeristy, Dr Robert J Patterson; and South African writer and 2006 Caine Prize winner, Mary Watson.

‘Memories We Lost’ is available to read here.

Repost from www.thebookseller.com

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