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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.

Art

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"Encrypted & Vulnerable is simultaneously a personal and intimately optimistic takedown on struggle, defiance, awareness, aloneness, and a takedown of heteronormative capitalistic patriarchal authoritarian politics in topics ranging from love, technology, religion, war, to migration," Williams mentions.

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