Norfolk woman shortlisted for global literary prize

Mbozi Haimbe. Photo: Commonwealth Writers

Mbozi Haimbe. Photo: Commonwealth Writers - Credit: Commonwealth Writers

A Norfolk author has been shortlisted for a global literary prize, after winning a regional heat.

Mbozi Haimbe, who was born and raised in Lusaka, Zambia, and now lives in Norfolk, won the prize for Africa for her story Madam's Sister, in which the arrival of a sister from London causes upheaval in a Zambian household.

Alongside four other short stories tackling issues including war and love, abuse and neglect, she will be a contender for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize.

The five shortlisted stories were chosen by an international judging panel, chaired by British novelist, playwright and essayist Caryl Phillips, from a shortlist of 21, after 5,081 entries were submitted from 50 Commonwealth countries.

The prize, awarded annually for the best piece of unpublished short fiction from the Commonwealth, is the only one where entries can be submitted in Bengali, Chinese, English, Greek, Malay, Portuguese, Samoan, Swahili, Tamil, and Turkish.

Mr Phillips said: "The regional winners of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize explore a remarkably diverse range of subject-matter, including stories about war, love, abuse and neglect.

"What unites the stories is a common thread of narrative excellence and dramatic intensity.

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"The voices of a truly global cast of characters enable us to engage with, and recognise, universal emotions of pain and loss."

The five regional winners' stories will be published online in the run-up to the announcement of the overall winner by the literary magazine Granta.

Following publication by Granta, the winning stories will also be published in Adda, the online magazine for Commonwealth Writers, which runs the short story prize.

The overall winner will be announced in Quebec City on July 9, 2019.

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