I have been Blogging the Caine Prize for 5 weeks and it has been a great experience. I was initially nervous about reviewing these shortlisted stories mainly because I've never reviewed short stories individually, and then when I found out about Blogging the Caine Prize and the calibre of bloggers that were participating in it, I got even more nervous. But I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience - reading the short stories, sharing my thoughts, and most of all reading other people's views on the shortlisted stories. Twitter was a big part of the Caine Prize as well. I must confess, I am not the best twitter person out there and I am really trying to improve my social awkwardness on twitter, but typing #caineprize and getting access to the different views was absolutely amazing for me.
Regarding the shortlisted stories, as I stated in a much earlier post, I decided to review the shortlisted stories initially out of curiosity to see if they strayed from the stereotypical African narrative. Shortly after I decided to do that I found out about Blogging the Caine Prize and decided to be part of it. I preferred some stories more than I did others, but in the end I genuinely believe the shortlisted stories fit the major criteria and went beyond the "Tragic Continent" Narrative. My ranking of the stories are based purely on how much I enjoyed them:
1. Melissa Myambo (Zimbabwe) - La Salle de Depart
2. Rotimi Babatunde (Nigeria) - Bombay's Republic
3. Billy Kahora (Kenya) - Urban Zoning
4. Stanley Kenani (Malawi) - Love on Trial
5. Constance Myburgh (South Africa) - Hunter Emmanuel
But I'm not a judge, so I wait in anticipation for the 2012 Caine Prize Winner. Until then, I leave you with the image of the 2012 Caine Prize for African Writing Anthology, published July 2012. According to News Internationalist this years cover is inspired by one of the shortlisted stories, African Violet, and the design is courtesy of Jacana Media. I really should get to reading the other anthologies. A list of past Caine Prize Anthologies can be found here.