English Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o A long time ago humans used to walk on legs and arms, just like all the other four limbed creatures. Humans were faster than hare, leopard or rhino. Legs and arms were closer than any other organs: they had similar corresponding joints: shoulders and hips; elbows and knees; ankles and wrists;…
As much as any contemporary writer of literary fiction ever does, Junot Díaz has become something of a household name in the years since his debut novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao appeared in 2007, then went on to win the Pulitzer Prize, among other many other honors.
The author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime explains how, in order to find his voice as a short story writer, he had to escape the legacy of Chekhov and Carver
Sharon Bakar's insight:
"I have read too many beige short stories in my life, too many short stories that feel like five-finger exercises. There are limits to what can happen in the real world. In fiction there are no limits: anything is possible on paper. It seems to me that if you are writing a short story and it is not more entertaining than the stories in that morning’s newspaper or that evening’s TV news, then you need to throw it away and start again, or open a cycle repair shop.
The 2016 Commonwealth Short Story Prize attracted nearly 4000 entries from 47 countries. Twenty-six “fresh and unexpected” stories by writers from eleven countries make up the shortlist. After an initial sift by a team of international readers, the global judging panel, representing each of the five regions of the Commonwealth – Helon Habila (Africa), Firdous Azim (Asia), Pierre Mejlak (Canada and Europe) Olive Senior (Caribbean), and Patrick Holland (Pacific) – chose the shortlist. Chair of the judges, South African novelist and playwright Gillian Slovo, said of this year’s shortlist: “As a novelist accustomed to the luxury of the long form it has been a treat to discover writers who manage to crystallise such different experiences into so few words. The stories we have chosen for the shortlist are in turn comic, touching, poetic, mysterious but always fresh and unexpected.”
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