A tale about a grieving widow returning to Entebbe airport with her husband’s coffin has earned Ugandan writer Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi the 2014 Commonwealth Short Story Prize, organizers said on Friday.
Contest judges praised “Let’s Tell the Story Properly” for its grace, breadth and taking risks and selected it as the top story from nearly 4,000 entries from writers in 53 countries.
“This is a dream,” said Makumbi, who is based in England. “For Uganda, once described as a literary desert, it shows how the country’s literary landscape is changing,” she said in a statement.
Novelist and short story writer Romesh Gunesekera presented the award to Makumbi in Kampala on Friday.
The Commonwealth Short Story prize identifies original voices from member states of the Commonwealth, independent countries that were formerly under British rule.
Makumbi will receive 5,000 pounds (US$8,483) and her story will be published online by the literary magazine Granta.
(Reporting by Patricia Reaney)