SA author modest on prize chances

FOR an award-winning author, Diane Awerbuck sure does not believe her own hype, and is cautious about her chances of snagging July’s Caine Prize.

The shortlist for this year’s Caine Prize for African Writing, in its 15th year, was announced this week.

Awerbuck’s Phosphorescence, from her short-story collection Cabin Fever that was published three years ago, is one of five vying for the R178000 prize.

The others are Efemia Chela’s Chicken, which is part of Feast, Famine and Potluck, Zimbabwean Tendai Hunchu’s The Intervention in Open Road Review, Billy Kahora’s The Gorilla’s Apprentice in Granta, and Kenyan Okwiri Oduor’s My Father’s Head, which was also part of Feast, Famine and Potluck.

“I reviewed Feast, Famine and Potluck, and so it’s quite disconcerting being in competition with [Oduor and Chela],” Awerbuck said yesterday. “They are very, very good.”

She won the Commonwealth Best First Book Award for Gardening at Night.

  • The International Human Rights Book Award jury has awarded Hugh Lewin’s Stones against the Mirror – a story of friendship and betrayal in the struggle against apartheid – a special prize for its importance in increasing awareness of human rights. – Andile Ndlovu


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