I always wanted to get into the mind of a writer. What soup do they stir in the kettle of their mind? From where do they purchase the condiments, those sweet smelling words, that aroma they infuse in their works. What words, what authors, do they look upon and say, that one right there inspired my craft and I am forever grateful for their contribution to my story.
And as it’s universally understood that before one can be a writer, convention states they must be readers, I set about to know discover the Writivism Short Story Prize shortlisted writers’ reading preference. I have to admit, having them tell me their 5 best books off head was an ambush in every sense of the word.
Gloria took more than an hour to zero down those 5 as Aito from Nigeria and Laure from Ivory Coast balked at the challenge. Impressive was decisive Abu from Kenya and Uganda’ Acan who scribbled down those works that have impressed them. I am aware that these lists are ever changing, my intention wasn’t to box our writers in, but rather to get a glimpse into the cavern of their brains.
How do they water and cultivate their muse? Do they prune it or do let the Muse grow into a thicket of thick vines? And in which universe do their hearts reside? How do they differ from myself and what can I learn from them. I am sorry the list is incomplete. I am hopeful Aito and Laure will write their own but in the meantime, have a look through these…
Bless me Ultima by Rodolfo Anaya
Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Moving House by Paweł Huelle
The Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The River and the Source by Margaret Atieno Ogola
*And many many short stories from across the globe
Dust by Yvonne Adhiambo
Sula by Toni Morrison
Circles of the Deceit by Nina Bawden
Blossoms of the Savannah by Henry Ole Kulet
Blackass by Igoni Barret
Tropical Fish by Doreen Baingana
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The Thing Around your Neck Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien
Kintu by Jennifer Makumbi
Tomorrow, being the last day of the festival, we will get to know who among the five shortisted writers takes home the prize.