The Ugandan writer Monica Arac de Nyeko has been awarded the 2007 Caine Prize for her story “Jambula Tree”. The Caine Prize, awarded annually, was founded in 2000 to an African short story published in the English language. It is sometimes referred to as the “African Booker Prize”.
The winning work, a story about a lesbian relationship in a country where homosexuality is illegal, was described by the jury as “a witty and touching portrait of a community which is affected forever by a love which blossoms between two adolescents”.
While “Jambula Tree” remains unpublished or out of print in most English speaking countries, Ms Arac de Nyeko’s short story “Strange Fruit”, shortlisted for the 2004 Caine Prize.
Read her story “strange fruit” here
Born in 1979, Monica Arac de Nyeko comes from Kitgum district in Northern Uganda. She is a member of The Uganda Women Writers Association (FEMRITE) and the chief Editor of T:AP Voices. She taught literature and English at St Mary’s College Kisubi before proceeding to pursue a Master in Humanitarian Assistance at the University of Groningen. Her personal essay In the Stars won a first prize in the Women’s World, Women in War Zones essay writing competition. She has been published in Memories of Sun, The Nation, IS magazine and Poetry International and several other publications. Her novella The Last Dance is forthcoming with Fountain Publishers.