The cover for the upcoming short story anthology Captive: New Short Fiction from Africa is out and it is absolutely stunning! Edited by Rachel Zadok and Helen Moffett, Captive is a collaboration between Catalyst Press and Short Story Day Africa featuring stories by 12 emerging writers from Africa and the diaspora.

The stories explore “identities that connect us, the obsessions that bewitch us, and the self-delusions that tear us apart.” The cover represents the eclectic nature of the stories well as featuring the silhouette of a human head and shoulders split into four sections – yellow sun, green grass, a crowded beach, and a purple scarf. The cover design is by Megan Ross.

Short Story Day Africa has previously published Disruption: New Short Fiction from Africa, which features the Caine Prize winning story, “Five Years Next Sunday” by Idza Luhumyo. The forthcoming collection focuses on fundamental elements of the human condition against the backdrop of ever-changing global realities.

Read the synopsis for Captive below:

Passion and mania, creation and destruction, honesty and deception: the blurred lines between these powerful forces are fundamental to the human condition. In three parts—Claustrophobia & Inescapable Obsessions; Metamorphosis, Cycles & Identity; and Self-awareness, Illusion, Delusion & Deception—the writers of Captive investigate these liminal spaces and rail against the boxes in which others seek to confine them, as writers, as Africans, and as humans.

Journey from the fantastical Heaven’s Mouth where time stagnates to a London bus where a neurodiverse woman steals love to the beats of Tom Jones… Flip the page to Ghana to examine a neglected fertility fetish or a post-apocalyptic Lesotho where sentient AI uses our emotions against us… Slip into the small town life of a Ladybrand store clerk healing a broken heart in the arms of a man who cannot love him… Captive is a riot of imagination, a collision of worlds, and a testament to the prismatic nature of the human soul.

The stories in Captive come from the writers of Inkubator, an intensive, three-month, online seminar designed by Short Story Day Africa and Laxfield Literary Associates, and supported by the British Council Cultural Exchange program. Through this program, writers develop their fiction-writing and self-editing skills. The 12 writers chosen for the seminar are mentored by a distinguished group of writers, editors, and publishing professionals including Tochukwu Okafor, Karen Jennings, TJ Benson, Doreen Baingana, Olumide Popoola and Emma Shercliff.

The contributors for the collection include Sola Njoku (UK-Nigeria), Moso Sematlane (Lesotho), Aba Amissah Asibon (Ghana), Kabubu Mutua (Kenya), Doreen Anyango (Uganda), Salma Abdulatif Yusuf (Kenya), Zanta Nkumane (Eswatini), Emily Pensulo (Zambia), N. A. Dawn (South Africa), Khumbo Mhone (Malawi), Josephine Sokan (UK-Nigeria), and Yovanka Paquete Perdigão (Guinea-Bissau).

The publication date for Captive will be announced shortly. Preorder the short story anthology here!