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Petina Gappah. Image from Guardian UK.

Petina Gappah’s “The News of Her Death” and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s “A Private Experience” have been named in Sunday Times‘ list of the 100 best short stories of all time. Their work appear alongside work by such modern masters of the genre as Yiyun Li, Jhumpa Lahiri, Anthony Doerr, and George Saunders, and a host of literary greats: Henry James, Ernest Hemmingway, James Joyce, and William Trevor, to name only a few.

Days ago, before the list went online, Gappah shared the news on Facebook, with a screenshot of the paper’s print publication, and we reported it then.

Here are the paper’s descriptions of the stories:

The News of Her Death by Petina Gappah (2016)

A bravura tale featuring a hugely funny chorus of warm, bitch African hairdressers, all poring over the untimely death of a colleague.

A Private Experience by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2008)
Two women shelter in a shop while men butcher each other with machetes. Adichie captures the terrors of the Nigerian civil war and the redemptive power of the women’s shared humanity.

“A Private Experience” appears in Adichie’s only short story collection The Thing Around Your Neck (2009).

Gappah’s “The News of Her Death,” which was shortlisted for the 2015 Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award, was last year named in The Guardian‘s list of “Top 10 Contemporary Short Stories.”

Gappah, who was Brittle Paper‘s African Literary Person of the Year in 2016, has published two collections of stories: An Elegy for Easterly (2008), which won The Guardian First Book Award, and Rotten Row (2016). Her first novel, The Book of Memory, appeared in 2015. Her short story, “A Short History of Zaka the Zulu,” was shortlisted for the 2017 Brittle Paper Award for Fiction.

Most recently, Gappah secured two book deals with publishers Scribner—the North America rights to her forthcoming second novel and fourth book Out of Darkness, Shining Light, and to her collection Rotten Row (2016).

Congratulations to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Petina Gappah!

Read “The News of Her Death” HERE.

See the full list HERE.

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About Otosirieze Obi-Young

View all posts by Otosirieze Obi-Young
Otosirieze Obi-Young is a writer, academic, literary journalist, and Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review, Transition, and in an anthology of the Gerald Kraak Award for which he was shortlisted. His work has further been shortlisted for the Miles Morland Writing Scholarship in 2016 and a Pushcart Prize in 2015. He attended the 2018 Miles Morland Foundation Creative Writing Workshop. He is the curator of the ART NAIJA SERIES, a sequence of themed e-anthologies of writing and visual art exploring different aspects of Nigerianness. The first, ENTER NAIJA: THE BOOK OF PLACES (October, 2016), focuses on cities in Nigeria. The second, WORK NAIJA: THE BOOK OF VOCATIONS (June, 2017), focuses on professions in Nigeria. He studied History and Literature at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, is currently completing a postgraduate programme in African Studies, and teaches English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. He has completed a collection of short stories, YOU SING OF A LONGING, and is working on a novel. He is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. When bored, the boy just Googles Rihanna. Find him at otosirieze.com.

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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