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Jambula Tree: And Other Stories

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The Caine Prize for African Writing is Africa’s leading literary prize and is awarded to a short story by an African writer published in English, whether in Africa or elsewhere. Each year, the full shortlist and twelve other stories are collected and published in one volume. This year’s winner is Monica Arac de Nyeko for Jambula Tree, described as “a witty and touching port The Caine Prize for African Writing is Africa’s leading literary prize and is awarded to a short story by an African writer published in English, whether in Africa or elsewhere. Each year, the full shortlist and twelve other stories are collected and published in one volume. This year’s winner is Monica Arac de Nyeko for Jambula Tree, described as “a witty and touching portrait of a community which is affected forever by a love which blossoms between two adolescents.” Previous winners and entrants include Segun Afolabi, Leila Aboulela, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Brian Chikwava, Mary Watson, and Binyavanga Wainaina.


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The Caine Prize for African Writing is Africa’s leading literary prize and is awarded to a short story by an African writer published in English, whether in Africa or elsewhere. Each year, the full shortlist and twelve other stories are collected and published in one volume. This year’s winner is Monica Arac de Nyeko for Jambula Tree, described as “a witty and touching port The Caine Prize for African Writing is Africa’s leading literary prize and is awarded to a short story by an African writer published in English, whether in Africa or elsewhere. Each year, the full shortlist and twelve other stories are collected and published in one volume. This year’s winner is Monica Arac de Nyeko for Jambula Tree, described as “a witty and touching portrait of a community which is affected forever by a love which blossoms between two adolescents.” Previous winners and entrants include Segun Afolabi, Leila Aboulela, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Brian Chikwava, Mary Watson, and Binyavanga Wainaina.

30 review for Jambula Tree: And Other Stories

  1. 5 out of 5

    Samir Rawas Sarayji

    A fantastic collection of short stories by African writers, featuring the winner of the Caine Prize of 2007 along with the 4 runner ups, as well as the shortlisted stories for the 2008 prize and more. While a few authors have more than one story here, there is no room for monotony as each story tackles very different themes. I have to say that the runner up story for the 2007 Prize was my favorite. 'My Parent's Bedroom' by Uwem Akpan (Nigeria) moved me and, what no other short story has done bef A fantastic collection of short stories by African writers, featuring the winner of the Caine Prize of 2007 along with the 4 runner ups, as well as the shortlisted stories for the 2008 prize and more. While a few authors have more than one story here, there is no room for monotony as each story tackles very different themes. I have to say that the runner up story for the 2007 Prize was my favorite. 'My Parent's Bedroom' by Uwem Akpan (Nigeria) moved me and, what no other short story has done before, brought me to tears. It is about the Rwandan genocide at the doorsteps of a nine-year-old girl whose father is a Hutu and mother is a Tutsi. The horrific crime she has to witness and the near abuse she has to endure, all packed in a few pages of well-written prose, had me itching for more by this writer. I know have a short story collection of his to look forward to. I cannot recommend this collection enough. Anyone remotely interested in African fiction should give this a go. Of course, there are a few stories that are a little weaker than others but there is certainly something for everyone to enjoy. The writing is excellent and the subject matters are representative of life on the African continent.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Antonella

    I'm cheating, because I've read only the title story. But it was really good and I wanted to leave a review. It's a very delicate story told in the first person by one of the two MCs. The other one was (view spoiler)[sent away to London after both were caught kissing under the jambula tree. Now, 5 years later she is coming back (hide spoiler)] . It feels quite hopeful and one cannot avoid to root for the two protagonists. There are a number of very typical African words, but you can read the story I'm cheating, because I've read only the title story. But it was really good and I wanted to leave a review. It's a very delicate story told in the first person by one of the two MCs. The other one was (view spoiler)[sent away to London after both were caught kissing under the jambula tree. Now, 5 years later she is coming back (hide spoiler)] . It feels quite hopeful and one cannot avoid to root for the two protagonists. There are a number of very typical African words, but you can read the story even if you don't know them (or you can look them up). It gives you also the atmosphere of this community. By the way I've heard of this story because I'm going to see the Kenyan film «Rafiki» (Friend), forbidden in Kenya because it depicts a lesbian love story. «Kenya is one of the 37 African countries, and over 70 countries around the world which still criminalise homosexual acts, with consenting partners found conducting same sex relations facing up to 14 years imprisonment.» https://worldfixercommunity.com/2018/... I don't see why loving someone could be a criminal act and I hope for a change in legislation. You can read the short story legally and for free here: https://www.rug.nl/alumni/stay-involv...

  3. 5 out of 5

    qalilah

    I only read the short story featured in the title - I guess this read counts (?). I was pleasantly surprised by this short story, which criticises and touches upon cultural issues in Uganda. It's the story of two adolescent girls, Anyango and Sangu, who `prefer’ one another and eventually act upon their growing feelings for each other. It's a short and bittersweet story, but it's the realism of it which hit me most. I only read the short story featured in the title - I guess this read counts (?). I was pleasantly surprised by this short story, which criticises and touches upon cultural issues in Uganda. It's the story of two adolescent girls, Anyango and Sangu, who `prefer’ one another and eventually act upon their growing feelings for each other. It's a short and bittersweet story, but it's the realism of it which hit me most.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Yasmin

    An amazing collection of stories.

  5. 4 out of 5

    ell

    I only read “Jambula Tree” by Monica Arac de Nyeko but I’m definitely going to read the other stories as well. “Jambula Tree” was written beautifully and I was moved by Anyango and Sanyu’s love story. It’s the first lgbtq+ story set in East Africa that I’ve read and I enjoyed it. This short story inspired the film “Rafiki” showed at Cannes in 2018. The story in the film takes place in Kenya instead of Uganda like in the short story. “Rafiki” stirred up a lot of controversy in Kenya where it was I only read “Jambula Tree” by Monica Arac de Nyeko but I’m definitely going to read the other stories as well. “Jambula Tree” was written beautifully and I was moved by Anyango and Sanyu’s love story. It’s the first lgbtq+ story set in East Africa that I’ve read and I enjoyed it. This short story inspired the film “Rafiki” showed at Cannes in 2018. The story in the film takes place in Kenya instead of Uganda like in the short story. “Rafiki” stirred up a lot of controversy in Kenya where it was banned. It’s unfortunate this happened but I’m still hopeful that one day the lgbtq+ community in Africa will no longer be persecuted for being who they want to be and loving who they want. Love is Love!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mallory

    I enjoyed reading this short story collection. It features authors who are both men and women, from several different countries and offer varying perspectives. I stumbled upon this book by luck only because I am trying to participate in the Reading the World project, and I was researching Ugandan authors whose work has been written in English. This led me to Monica Arac de Nyeko, who wrote the short story “The Jambula Tree” which heads this collection (and which won the Caine Prize).

  7. 5 out of 5

    Gabrielle Carolina

    Read for class.

  8. 5 out of 5

    sharon

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jekwu Ozoemene

  10. 4 out of 5

    mwana

  11. 4 out of 5

    Gala

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tara

  13. 4 out of 5

    Megan Lee

  14. 4 out of 5

    Adebiyi Oluwafemi

  15. 5 out of 5

    Befff

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ay

  17. 4 out of 5

    Salma Bk

  18. 5 out of 5

    Chukwuka Nwafor

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ozavinoyi

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ally

  21. 5 out of 5

    PrinceofPersia

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lian Detera

  23. 5 out of 5

    Alison Shakspeare

  24. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

  25. 4 out of 5

    Siddhi

  26. 5 out of 5

    Scribeslane

  27. 4 out of 5

    Banafsheh Esmailzadeh

  28. 4 out of 5

    Pawpaw

  29. 5 out of 5

    Paloma.

  30. 4 out of 5

    AccioFandoms

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