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Caine Prize shortlist announced, includes Malawi story on homosexuality

1 May 2012
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Today, the Caine Prize announced its shortlist for the 2012 Caine Prize for African Writing. All of the stories are featured on the Caine Prize web site.

I took particular interest in the story by Stanley Kenani, not just because he’s a Malawian and the story is set in Malawi, but because its central story is about homosexuality:

‘This,’ Charles explained in his deep voice, ‘is my natural orientation. I have never felt sexually attracted to any woman in my life.’ David Iphani asked him: ‘What about the law? Aren’t you afraid of breaking the law?’ Charles responded: ‘If a law is designed to suppress freedom, then it is a stupid law that must be scrapped.’

There’s more to the story that I love — especially the gossipy village drunk. He reminds me of a certain Mr. Brown that I met in TA Mkanda, Mchinji District (Mkanda is briefly mentioned in Kenani’s story). Mr. Brown would tell stories and jokes, all for the price of a simple “tot.”

Good luck, Mr. Kenani. You should be proud of the great story you have written and of the honor of being nominated for the Caine Prize.

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