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Zunguzungu
By Aaron Bady
Anyone claiming to be an expert is selling something. I brandish my ignorance like a crucifix at vampires.
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Blogging the Caine, 2013

Huzzah! Starting next week, I and a group of other illustriously self-selected writers will begin writing about the shortlisted short stories for the “Caine Prize for African Writing” (all of which are available for download as pdfs at that link). Join us! Some of us are academics, most of us are not, but all of us are basically just readers and writers, and you are one too. I’ve been calling it a “blog carnival,” but it basically just boils down to reading the stories in order, writing about them in whatever capacity we want to, reading each other writing about reading them, and then, perhaps, if we’re up to it, writing about that. Welcome.

This is the third year we’re doing this—see here and here for the introductions for the last two years—and it’s been good fun.The presence of Binyavanga Wainaina might be said to loom over these proceedings. So far, Kate Haines has written an introductory post at Africa in Words, observing that the Caine Prize is a “good thing, but it isn’t the thing,” the Naija Writer has written “How to Write A Caine Prize Story (Whatever That Is)” (and part 2), and Ainehi Edoro at Brittle Paper has done a nice roundup of the five nominees. We might also take “Mzungu Prizes” as a jumping off point.

This will be the Official Schedule (links take you to the pdfs):

May 27th — June 1st
Tope Folarin (Nigeria) “Miracle”

June 3rd — June 8th
Pede Hollist (Sierra Leone) “Foreign Aid”

June 10th — June 15th
Abubakar Adam Ibrahim (Nigeria) “The Whispering Trees”

June 17th –June 22nd
Elnathan John (Nigeria) “Bayan Layi”

June 24th — June 29th
Chinelo Okparanta (Nigeria) “America”

July 8th
Winner to be named!

And that’s it! I’m planning on posting my own essay on the Monday of each week, and doing a week-in-review post on Saturday, both at the New Inquiry. If you’d like to participate, email me at aaron@thenewinquiry.com or join us—and @elnathan, @Abubakr_khalifa, and @topefolarinon—on twitter (#caineprize).

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