It is a great feeling when you stumble upon a great song (Like the Milk Carton Kid’s Like a Cloak), a great blog and even greater when you find a carefully written and assembled book.
You cannot even imagine my excitement when I read A Life in Full and Other Stories, a collection of short stories containing five of the 2010 shortlisted stories along with stories written at the Caine Prize writers’ workshop. The book contained two stories written by two amazing young writers I know, ok I do not actually know know them but I follow their blogs if you really want to be pedantic.
It is a great feeling to see your peers writing such amazing work. There are so many naysayers and people who go on complaining about the brain drain and the lack of great writers but after reading this anthology it is very clear that these naysayers are clearly not well read.
Vuyo Seripe’s “Almost Cured of Sadness” explores issues that sometimes arise in interracial relationships. But I do have to add that stating that it is merely a story about interracial dating is an understatement, it explores depression, relationships, trying to find oneself in a career and it could be read as a coming of age story. It is one of those stories that seems simple but has actually delicately interwoven many themes into its being. I found myself thinking about the story hours after I had finished reading it. I had to reread it again to settle the internal arguments that were going on in my head, set off by the seemingly simple story.
Novuyo Rosa Tshume’s “The King and I” explores a friendship between two very different boys in varsity. I enjoyed this particular story as on that same day I met up with an old friend and I was amazed at how different we had become. It is amazing how we meet people on our journey in life and then we drift away and as we drift it seems we can never again walk along the same path again. Time does that.
I found the stories inspiring and I think Olufemi Terry’s “Stickfighting Days” deserves a special mention. It was so subtle and the imagery was powerful. I was not aware that he had won the 2010 prize when I was reading it but it was quite obvious when I read up on the book and saw that he won it afterwards.
This anthology is great for anyone who wants a peek into the minds of our next generation of great future writers.