The 2016 Caine Prize for African Writing was awarded to South African writer Lidudumalingani, for ‘Memories We Lost’ published in Incredible Journey: Stories That Move You. The Caine Prize is a literature prize awarded to an African writer of a short story published in English. The prize was launched in 2000 to encourage and highlight the richness and diversity of African writing by bringing it to a wider audience internationally. The focus on the short story reflects the contemporary development of the African story-telling tradition. Lidudumalingani received the £10,000 prize at the Bodleian Library in Oxford on Monday night. Four other writers were shortlisted for the prize: Abdul Adan (Somalia/Kenya) for ‘The Lifebloom Gift’, Lesley Nneka Arimah (Nigeria) for ‘What it Means When a Man Falls From the Sky’, Tope Folarin (Nigeria) for ‘Genesis’, Bongani Kona (Zimbabwe) for ‘At your Requiem’ also published in Incredible Journey: Stories That Move You.
Lidudumalingani, who is also a filmmaker and director, has published a number of other short stories, non-fiction works, and criticism.
In ‘Memories We Lost’ a young girl recounts her experiences of caring for her mentally ill sister and the manner in which her condition is handled by her family and the community. Stirring, visceral, Lidudumalingani beautiful storytelling and imagery – still and melancholic – manage to make you laugh at one moment and grimace the next.
You can read ‘Memories we lost’ or listen to it here: