Lily Mabura’s short story, How Shall We Kill the Bishop, has been nominated for the 2010 Caine Prize . Lily Mabura joins fellow shortlisted writers, Ken Barris (South Africa), Namwali Serpell (Zambia), Alex Smith (South Africa) and Olufemi Terry (Sierra Leone). We are pleased to report that Lily has kindly granted us permission to publish her short story How Shall We Kill the Bishop? here on MyWeku.
Lily Mabura received her undergraduate degree from the University of Nairobi, Kenya, her MFA in Creative Writing (Fiction) from the University of Idaho, and has just completed her Ph.D. in English (African and African Diaspora Studies & Creative Writing, Fiction) at the University of Missouri-Columbia. As the Fall 2008 – Spring 09 Visiting Pre-Doctoral Dissertation Fellow at the Frederick Douglass Institute for African and African-American Studies, University of Rochester, New York, she worked on her dissertation project. It includes an Africana dissertation titled Representations of the Violently Displaced Black Female Self in Contemporary African Literature. This dissertation attempts to show how select border-shifting, transregional, and transnational contemporary African narratives broaden our understanding of violently displaced black African women by continuing to provide a constantly shifting black female refugee and IDP (internally displaced person) worldview and a unique cultural context of the women whose lives they discuss. Among the authors and works discussed are The Last Will and Testament of Senhor da Silva Araujo (1999, trans. 2004) by Germano Almeida (Cape Verde); The Loves of Joao Vencio (1979, trans. 1991) by Jose Luandino Vieira (Portugal-Angola); Purple Hibiscus (2003) and Half of a Yellow Sun (2006) by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Nigeria); Nervous Conditions (1988) and The Book of Not: A Sequel to Nervous Conditions (2006) by Tsitsi Dangarembga (Zimbabwe); The Stone Virgins (2002) by Yvonne Vera (Zimbabwe-Canada); and, finally, Colored Lights (2001, 2005), Minaret (2005), and The Translator (1999) by Leila Aboulela (Sudan-Egypt-UK). These narratives embody a literary tradition that is transhistorical and hark back to African Diasporic writers such as Olaudah Equiano, Phillis Wheatley, and Ida B. Wells, but simultaneously tease out new nuances peculiar to the situation of contemporary violently displaced black women of African descent.
Lily’s dissertation project also includes a novel titled House on a Jade Sea, an excerpt of which has been published in Stand Magazine, UK. Field research for this novel was carried out in the Northern Kenya regions of Chalbi Desert and Lake Turkana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, courtesy of funding from the Ellen Meloy Desert Writers Fund, Utah, the John D. Bies International Travel Scholarship, and the University of Missouri-Columbia. Her literary awards include the Jomo Kenyatta Prize for Literature and Kenya’s National Book Week Literary Award. Lily’s short stories have appeared in literary journals such as PRISM international, Wasafiri, Callaloo, and the 2007 Fish Anthology. Other publications include a novel, The Pretoria Conspiracy, and three children’s books: Saleh Kanta and the Cavaliers, Seth the Silly Gorilla, and Ali the Little Sultan.
Lily’s teaching and research interests are in African and African Diaspora Literatures, Africana Feminisms & Womanisms, and Creative Writing (Fiction).