Some fiction news from South Africa in these last few weeks –
Twenty in 20 – a call for your bests of the South African short story since 1994 | the Sunday Times Lifestyle Magazine (27th April) – fast forward to 40 stories by 40 authors marking the anniversary of South African democracy | Short Story Day Africa and the Caine Prize shortlist 2014
the long/s (that sneaked in to this post predominantly about dynamic short story initiatives):
the Sunday Times Literary Awards 2014 – the Fiction Prize and the Alan Paton Award, at the Franschhoek Literary Festival 2014
Celebrating the best of the short story and its renewed energy through South Africa’s two decades of freedom is the Twenty in 20 project.
Books LIVE, with the Department of Arts and Culture and Short Story Day Africa, are asking for the best in South African short fiction, the stories that you love, to be submitted to the project by the 31st May, with the aim of finding those that ‘have been particularly acute in their observations, telling in their allusions and gripping in their imaginative scope’
Mandla Langa (Chair), Karabo Kgoleng, Mtutuzeli Matshoba and Fiona Snyckers will judge the final list, which will be published in a new collection during National Book Week later in the year.
Further info and an outline of
Twenty in 20
Among those anniversary processes that inevitably nod back – the gatherings of moments, stories, reflections and imaginings that reflect on our understandings of now – is a marking of 20 years of South Africa’s democracy that projectile flings it forward to a ‘hairy cornucopia’: ‘FFWD >> 2034 The Future Fiction Edition’ of the Sunday Times Lifestyle magazine (ZA) is a collection of 40 short stories from 40 local authors, each set in South Africa on the 27th April 2034.
Thanks to the ever amazing and generous Books LIVE, you can see/read the mag in full, the whole shebang self-described as ‘utopian and apocalyptic, plausible and implausible, comical and tragic’, featuring stories by Lauren Beukes, Niq Mhlongo, Rachel Zadok, Sihle Khumalo, Yewande Omotoso, Shubnum Khan, Gareth Crocker, Diane Awerbuck, Tom Eaton, James Whyle, Rustum Kozain, Kgebetli Moele, Margie Orford, Jenny Hobbs, Finuala Dowling, Sindiwe Magona, Sarah Lotz, Angela Makholwa, Mike Nicol, Steven Boykey Sidley, Richard de Nooy, Hamilton Wende, Jason Staggie, Ashraf Jamal, Richard Poplak, Mike van Graan, Songeziwe Mahlangu, Monwabisi Gebhuza, Dominique Botha, Rian Malan, Koos Kombuis, Andile Mngxitama, Darrel Bristow-Bovey, Michiel Heyns, Karen Jennings, CA Davids, Nthikeng Mohlele, Lin Sampson, Claire Robertson, Christopher Hope and John van de Ruit.
This year’s Caine Prize shortlist includes two stories published in Feast, Famine and Potluck, Short Story Day Africa’s anthology from their competition last year: ‘My Father’s Head’, by Okwiri Oduor (Kenya), which won the 2013 Short Story Day Africa short story competition, and ‘Chicken’, by Efemia Chela (Ghana/Zambia), which came third.
Oduor and Chela join Diane Awerbuck (South Africa) with “Phosphorescence”, Tendai Huchu (Zimbabwe), “The Intervention”, and Billy Kahora (Kenya) “The Gorilla’s Apprentice” on this, the fifteenth Caine Prize shortlist. (Read the Caine shortlisted stories.)
As SSDA 2014 comes up (on the summer solstice), which this year will highlight Africa’s speculative fiction, what better way to show support for this wonderful thing than by reading the anthology, not forgetting its sister Rapunzel is Dead by SSDA’s younger writers, both available in print from Megabooks, and as ebooks from Smashwords and Amazon.
“Food is at the centre of stories from authors emerging and established, blending the secular, the supernatural, the old and the new in a spectacular celebration of short fiction. Civil wars, evictions, vacations, feasts and romances – the stories we bring to our tables that bring us together and tear us apart.” (SSDA).
And from those shorts to a new long – 2014 sees the first formal longlists for the Sunday Times Literary Awards. The Fiction Prize has 23 books to be judged by this year’s panel, Annari van der Merwe (Chair), Sindiwe Magona and Ivan Vladislavić,working to the announcement of the shortlist on Saturday (17 May) at the Franschhoek Literary Festival (running this year from 16-18 May, 2014 with a full programme here).
“Speculative fiction joins crime as an influence on this year’s longlist, which is however dominated by moving stories of South Africans learning to cope with loss.” (Books LIVE).
Running alongside is the Alan Paton non-fiction awards, which also sees a formal longlist for the first time this year, comprised of a “host of “state of the nation books” in competition with literary biographies and investigations into South Africa’s past, both distant and near”, to be deliberated on by the judges Bill Nasson (Chair), Elinor Sisulu and Shaun Johnson.
For more info. and details on both judging panels and availability of the books on both longlists, see Books LIVE.