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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, writer and journalist, is Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. He is a judge for the 2018/19 Gerald Kraak Prize and the 2019 Miles Morland Writing Scholarships. He is an editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective, which has published volumes including We Are Flowers (2017) and The Inward Gaze (2018). He is the curator of the Art Naija Series, a sequence of e-anthologies of writing and visual art focusing on different aspects of Nigerianness, including Enter Naija: The Book of Places (2016), which explores cities, and Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (2017), which explores professions. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition. He has completed a collection of short stories, You Sing of a Longing, is working on a novel, and is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. He has an M.A. in African Studies and a combined honours B.A. in History & International Studies and English & Literary Studies, both from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He taught English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts writing and editing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze. When bored, he Googles Rihanna.

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