Read Lusaka Punk and Other Stories: The Caine Prize for African Writing 2015 by Caine Prize Free Online
Book Title: Lusaka Punk and Other Stories: The Caine Prize for African Writing 2015|
The author of the book: Caine Prize
City - Country: No data
Loaded: 1947 times
Reader ratings: 5.4
Edition: New Internationalist
Date of issue: May 16th 2017
ISBN 13: 9781780262284
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 6.13 MB
Read full description of the books:
Short story collections by the same author can sometimes struggle to maintain a level of quality and achieve cohesiveness - Lusaka Punk marries 18 African writers and manages, on the whole, both of those things. Few of the stories are throw-away or forgetable. Although the themes and genres are varied, many of the concerns and styles overlap. Coming from Ghana, South Africa, Nigeria, Malawi and other African countries, from prize winning authors and unpublished ones, from the Caine prize and from workshopped stories, Lusaka Punk is great entertainment and high quality fiction.
The workshop story are actually the best in many cases, an exception being the first story The Folded Leaf by Afolabi which is narrated by a blind child on a trip to Lagos to join the vast crowds at a faith healing. It's an interesting exercise in uses the senses - denied her sight Bunmi experiences the crowds and the voices of the occasion through her other four. It's an ambitious idea and it works. The character Bunmi's description of the gathering feels genuine and truthful. Other shortlisted stories like The Sack and Space are intriguing but much denser than the entertaining sequence to come.
Highlights include: The Road Workers of Chabli, a clear and disturbing portrait of racial tensions and lack of communications. Wahala Lizard is a simply written farce about a disasterous plane journey with amuses by its directness and its silliness in highlighting the ridiculousness of our fears. Nehushtan is about a man grieving for the loss of his son which has an immensely powerful and symbolic ending of a breaking damn and a flooded existence. Swallowing Ice is weird and revolting but hypnotically so - a solitary woman in love with her cat even in death. The title story, Lusaka Punk, should be a little kitschy; it is a picture of youth and a punk scene dislocated from punk's First World origins. Unafraid of seeming a little over cool, writer Chela actually succeeds in a very honest depiction of something not often seen or expected in African literature.
Towards the end are two very intriguing entries that beg further investigations. The Writing in the Stars is a sci-fi/Indian Jones mish mash that reads more as a prologue to a grand fantasy than a short story. It might not be the best written story in the collection, but the ideas and the sense of tension in the plot, as well as a tangible sense of adventure and history, made me want to look up Jonathan Dotse's work. The next story is the best - Burial by Akwaeke Emezi. It is a dark tale of young rebellion and grief at the time of a father's death and the wandering hands of a possessive uncle. It is capped with a simple, destructive ending that reeks of fear, the power of man and the silence of women in abusive situations. A moving and disturbing story and the highlight of this excellent collection. 7
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