BOOKNEWS: Ehikhamenor shines at bi­en­nale

CityPress - - Voices -

A spec­tac­u­lar lit­er­ary art in­stal­la­tion created by Nige­rian writer Vic­tor Ehikhamenor de­buted at the 12th Dakar Bi­en­nale this week. The work, ti­tled The Prayer Room, comes in the form of a black room cov­ered wall to wall in what African lit­er­a­ture web­site Brit­tle Pa­per de­scribes as “a strange artis­tic script”.

Ehikhamenor told Brit­tle Pa­per this week that “The Prayer Room is a space where peo­ple can come and feel art al­most phys­i­cally, be calm and spend some time to re­flect”.

He said his in­spi­ra­tion came from “what we call ‘ok­oughele’ in Esan, where el­ders meet and de­cide on com­mu­nity mat­ters, and coro­nate the vil­lage chief. It is also a place where el­ders pray for in­di­vid­u­als and the com­mu­nity ev­ery now and then.”

It’s like an ar­chi­tec­tural book, a work of tan­gi­ble text, and makes us ex­cited to see au­thors op­er­at­ing as artists.

South African makes Caine Prize short list

South African au­thor Lidudu­ma­lin­gani is in the run­ning for the an­nual Caine Prize for African Writ­ing for his short story Mem­o­ries We Lost.

Zim­bab­wean writer Bon­gani Kona, the brain­child be­hind the Chimurenga Pan-African gazette, was picked for his story At Your Re­quiem.

Tope Fo­larin has been short-listed for a sec­ond time for the £10 000 (R219 160) award for his short story Ge­n­e­sis.

Bri­tain’s Les­ley Nneka Arimah has been nom­i­nated for What it Means When a Man Falls From the Sky, and So­ma­lian/Kenyan au­thor Ab­dul Adan has been nom­i­nated for The Lifebloom Gift.

The judg­ing panel will an­nounce its win­ner on July 4.

Ex­clu­sive Books an­nounces lit­er­a­ture award

The CEO of Ex­clu­sive Books, Ben­jamin Trisk, has an­nounced that the com­pany has es­tab­lished its first an­nual award for lit­er­a­ture. Although Trisk held back de­tails, which will be re­leased later this year, he did re­veal that “the value of the prize will be sub­stan­tial and will be in the front rank of South African lit­er­ary prizes”.

– Gar­reth van Niek­erk

THE PRAYER ROOM

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