With these prizes, the future of writing in Africa is in safe hands

Pushcart Prize announced their shortlist for this year, among them two friends of mine whom the continent should be on the lookout for. PHOTO | COURTESY

What you need to know:

  • The founding member of Kenya’s new and exciting literary journal Enkare, Troy Onyango, is one of the six shortlistees for his story The Transfiguration, published in Transition volume 121. I read this story while resting from packing up as I end my residency.
  • Zimbabwean writer Panashe Chigumadzi was the other Pushcart shortlistee for her short story, Small Deaths, also published in the same issue of Transition. It was a good week for Chigumadzi, who stays in South Africa.
  • Chigumadzi, in this particular piece, writes in a musical fashion that demands one feels the urgency of a life of a young South African woman who seems to be drowning in the nation’s racial politics even as she tries to just be while looking at women characters as depicted in music, film and words in history and of course, women like her grandmother and mother.

Regular readers of this column know that I am not a big fan of literary awards.

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