Incredible Journey is the third of the annual SHORT.SHARP.STORIES anthologies. Following the crime-thrillers of Bloody Satisfied (2013) and erotic tales of Adults Only (2014), the focus in 2015 is on a journey, be it political, personal or emotional.
The incredible journeys of this year’s title vary from road trips to mind trips, and are by turns inspirational, intriguing and entertaining. Those that have made this year’s shortlist have two things in common: 1) as in previous collections, they capture uniquely South African voices, and 2) they move the reader.
The judges of this year’s competition are Henrietta Rose-Innes, Ken Barris and Makhosazana Xaba, with a foreword to the collection by Sindiwe Magona.
NEWS UPDATE: Two stories from Incredible Journey were shortlisted for the Caine Prize for African Writing 2016: ‘Memories We Lost’ by Lidudumalingani and ”At Your Requiem’ by Bongani Kona. In July 2016 Lididumalingani was announced as the this year’s winner.
Joanne Hichens, curator of the SHORT.SHARP.STORIES awards, is an author, editor and creative-writing teacher. She has edited four short-story anthologies, including Bloody Satisfied and Adults Only. Her first novel Divine Justice was published in 2011; her second is due out later in 2015.
PRAISE FOR 'MEMORIES WE LOST' BY LIDUDUMALINGANI, WINNER OF THE CAINE PRIZE FOR AFRICAN WRITING 2016:
"This is a troubling piece, depicting the great love between two young siblings in a beautifully drawn Eastern Cape. Multi-layered, and gracefully narrated, this short story leaves the reader full of sympathy and wonder at the plight of its protagonists." – Delia Jarrett-Macauley, Chair of Judges, Caine Prize 2016
Read a full review of ‘Memories We Lost’ here.
PRAISE FOR 'INCREDIBLE JOURNEY':
"The stories range from the satisfyingly literal, such as Bobby Jordan’s funny and incisive chicken-transporting 'Shortcut', to the more specifically interior pieces, such as 'Memories we lost' by Lidudumalingani, a terrifying examination of mental illness based on the writer’s real-life familial experiences of this 'ongoing journey'. One rewarding aspect of reading a collection of different writers is that new voices inevitably emerge. Jumani Clarke’s 'Lift Club' marks him as a brilliant addition to the writing scene, a hybrid of Niq Mhlongo and Neil Gaiman. This year’s winner, Andrew Salomon’s 'Train 124', is equally pleasing. The story deals with a narrator who suffers obsessive-compulsive disorder, and his struggles to deal with change – especially the awful kind. Salomon’s ability to imagine himself realistically in the mind of another person is noteworthy.' – Diane Awerbuck, Sunday Times