Caine Prize

[REVIEW]: Meron Hadero’s Sense of Hope

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This is the second time Meron Hadero, the Ethiopian American writer, has been shortlisted for the Caine Prize for African Writing. She made the shortlist in 2019 with her heartbreaking story “The Wall,” though Lesley Nneka Arimah, the Nigerian American, would win the prize with “Skinned,” a riveting, eerie story about gender inequality. Hadero is […]

[REVIEW] Bound by Grief, Bound by Love

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‘Like a hum in the forest’, these words are swirling around in the deep recess of my mind asking to be let out. It took a while but it finally found an exit – these winged words set a flight reading The Separation by Iryn Tushabe. They make their unhurried way out of my mind, […]

[REVIEW] On Nicknames and the Ringmasters

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“We were clowns, children, things….” So starts Rémy Ngamije’s The Giver of Nicknames, where readers are launched into the mind of a hyper-literate narrator who recounts his teenagehood at a private Catholic School in Namibia. From the beginning, Ngamije’s sets out to make the reader aware of the title character’s deft use of language, more […]

[Review] Baingana’s Memories of War

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“Lucky,” by Doreen Baingana, is a historical-memoir short story that addresses the subject of war and its devastating effects on human society. The immediate allusion to “Gulu District, West Nile” paints in the reader’s mind the impression of the 1980 insurgency⎯which occurred after Idi Amin was toppled a year earlier⎯and places the story perfectly to […]

[REVIEW]: Writing Rejection in This Little Light of Mine

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My encounter with Troy Onyango’s story in Origami was love at first sight. Struck by the story’s opening sentence: First, he plucks a small part of himself and folds it in half; I surrendered to the intimacy of those words that pronounced Onyango as a writer that cares about the efficiency of a sentence. But […]