Bulawayo-born writer Sandisile Tshuma has won an Honourable Mention at the 2010 Thomas Pringle Awards. The award is for the best short story published in a journal, magazine or newspaper in southern Africa over the previous two years. Sandisile’s story, Arrested Development, first appeared in the ’amaBooks collection Long Time Coming: Short Writings from Zimbabwe, and it was then published in The Zimbabwean, in the South African literary magazine Wordsetc and in the Kenyan short story collection for schools When the Sun Goes Down: Stories from Africa and Beyond.
The Thomas Pringle Award judges described Arrested Development as a ‘beautifully observed story of a journey – both literal and figurative’. They loved its ‘hustle, hassle, bustle and bluster’ and felt that the images and noise came across beautifully.
The winner of the award was Stephen Watson for his short story Buiten Street, which appeared in the magazine New Contrast. The other short-listed writers were Liesl Jobson, Arja Salafranca and Gail Dendy. Brian Jones of ’amaBooks commented that they were delighted with Sandisile’s achievement, particularly because Arrested Development was her first published story and in view of the considerable literary experience of the other short-listed writers.
Having been born and raised in Bulawayo, Sandisile returned to the city after three years studying Chemical, Molecular and Cellular Sciences at the University of Cape Town, to study Development and Disaster Management at the National University of Science and Technology. At present she lives in Johannesburg and works as Programme Associate for the UNESCO East and Southern Africa EDUCAIDS programme.
Long Time Coming has also had international recognition since it was published in 2008, being chosen by the United Kingdom’s leading progressive magazine New Internationalist as one of their two ‘Best Books’ of the year. The publication of Long Time Coming was supported by HIVOS and the Zimbabwe Culture Trust Fund.
2011 promises to be a good year for other Bulawayo writers. The rights of Bryony Rheam’s debut novel This September Sun, which won Best First Book at last year’s Zimbabwe Book Publishers Association awards, have been bought by Parthian Books for the United Kingdom, and it will be published there this September. John Eppel’s latest book, Together, which contains short stories and poems by John and by the late Julius Chingono, is soon to be co-published by ’amaBooks and the University of New Orleans Press.