Ohio University Press has published the US edition of the Kenyan writer and Kwani? editor Billy Kahora’s debut short story collection. The book, titled The Cape Cod Bicycle War and Other Stories, is the latest addition to the press’ Modern African Writing Series and was released in March 2020. It was first published in 2019 by Rwanda-based Huza Press and was launched at last year’s KigaliLit event.
Here’s the book’s description from Ohio University Press:
Each of the realistic worlds Billy Kahora brings us in the short stories and novella that make up The Cape Cod Bicycle War and Other Stories explores the tensions and transitions of characters moving between youthful folly and a precarious adulthood. In the title story, immigrant workers with varying ambitions work at a Wendy’s in wintry Cape Cod. Sharing one house, they must also share, or rather compete for, bicycles—crucial transportation—which are in short supply.
In other stories, a young man caught between a broken family and political violence befriends an aged gorilla in a Nairobi zoo; a pastor struggles to come to terms with the arrest of his brother, who is suspected of terrorism; and a dissolute bank employee on a serious bender returns to work to face a review board.
The Cape Cod Bicycle War and Other Stories is Billy Kahora’s long-awaited debut collection. Stories in this volume have appeared in Granta and McSweeney’s and have been shortlisted for the Caine Prize for African Writing.
Billy Kahora’s fiction and creative non-fiction have appeared in Chimurenga, McSweeney’s, Granta Online, Internazionale, Vanity Fair and Kwani?. He has written a non-fiction book titled The True Story of David Munyakei. He wrote the screenplay for Soul Boy and co-wrote Nairobi Half Life which won the Kalasha awards. As Managing Editor of Kwani? Trust, he edited seven issues of the journal as well as other Kwani? publications including Nairobi 24 and Kenya Burning. He is also a Contributing Editor with the Chimurenga Chronic. He has been Kwani Litfest Curator since 2008.
Buy the book here.