On June 1st, AfricaBookClub.com interviewed Hisham Matar, Chair of 2011 Caine Prize.
Just to let you know, Hisham Matar is the author of ‘In the Country of Men’, published in 2006 and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, the Guardian First Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award in the US. The book won six international literary awards including the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize Best First Book award for Europe and South Asia, the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize, and the inaugural Arab American Book Award. It has been translated into twenty-six languages.
I enjoyed the interview in their entirety but I would highlight two of his responses I enjoyed most.
Are there African writers that you admire? What are some of your favorite books about Africa, or written by African writers?
There are many books and many writers. I have enjoyed and admired Tayeb Salih’s work. Naguib Mahfouz, the Egyptian writer and winner of the 1988 Nobel Prize in Literature, is another whose work I like. Wole Soyinka is wonderful. And I deeply admire J. M. Coetzee’s luminous novels. As for books, Season of Migration to the North (by Tayeb Salih) and Waiting for the Barbarians (by J.M. Coetzee) are two of my favorites, but there are many others…
Any final words?
Yes, please tell all the young writers in Africa that we would like to see many more stories coming out of the continent. This year, the Caine Prize received about 130 entries. Next year, it would be great to receive 260 short stories.
You may want to read the remaining interview here.