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British-Somali Writer Diriye Osman Wins Polari First Book Prize For Debut Book About The LGBT Experience

British-Somali writer Diriye Osman wins Polari First Book Prize for 'Fairytales for Lost Children,' his debut book about the LGBT experience.


Photo via Huffington Post by Boris Mitkov

The Polari First Book Prize is awarded to a British author whose debut book explores the LGBT experience. Submissions can be poetry, fiction or non-fiction, print or digital self published works, as long as they were published in the UK in English within the twelve months of the deadline for submissions (in this case February 1st, 2014). One month after this year's shortlist was announced, the 2014 prize has been awarded to British-Somali short story writer, essayist, critic and visual artist Diriye Osman for his collection of short stories, Fairytales for Lost Children. Told across different narrators from Kenya, Somalia, and South London, Osman's stories look at gender and being young, lesbian, and gay in cultures where it's not often discussed. Osman's Fairytales were first published in September 2013. "Writing as a black gay African man from a Muslim background," the prize's Chair of judges Paul Burston said, "Osman dazzled us with the wide range of literary voices in this stunning short story collection."

Fairytales for Lost Children is available to purchase here (US). Watch and listen to Osman read from "Shoga," one of the stories from Fairytales for Lost Children narrated by a Somali teenager whose interest in his grandmother's houseboy has an impact on the entire family, in the video and stream below.

Interview

Sarkodie Is Not Feeling Any Pressure

The elite Ghanaian rapper affirms his king status with this seventh studio album, No Pressure.

Sarkodie is one of the most successful African rappers of all time. With over ten years of industry presence under his belt, there's no question about his prowess or skin in the game. Not only is he a pioneer of African hip-hop, he's also the most decorated African rapper, having received over 100 awards from close to 200 nominations over the span of his career.

What else does Sarkodie have to prove? For someone who has reached and stayed at the pinnacle of hip-hop for more than a decade, he's done it all. But despite that, he's still embracing new growth. One can tell just by listening to his latest album, No Pressure, Sarkodie's seventh studio album, and the follow-up to 2019's Black Love which brought us some of the Ghanaian star's best music so far. King Sark may be as big as it gets, but the scope of his music is still evolving.

Sonically, No Pressure is predominantly hip-hop, with the first ten tracks offering different blends of rap topped off with a handful of afrobeats and, finally, being crowned at the end with a gospel hip-hop cut featuring Ghanaian singer MOG. As far as the features go, Sark is known for collaborating mostly with his African peers but this time around he branches out further to feature a number of guests from around the world. Wale, Vic Mensa, and Giggs, the crème de la crème of rap in America and the UK respectively all make appearances, as well as Nigeria's Oxlade, South Africa's Cassper Nyovest, and his fellow Ghanaian artists Darkovibes and Kwesi Arthur.

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