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Africa: Stories in the 55
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On the bus with the 2016 Caine Prize African literature finalists

By Laura Angela Bagnetto

For this month's special edition of Africa: Stories in the 55, we take an exclusive trip from London to Oxford to talk to the shortlisted writers for the 2016 Caine Prize for the best African short story. RFI finds out what inspired these authors, who hail from Nigeria, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Somalia and Kenya.

Honoring those who lived through Zimbabwe's Gukurahundi in Novuyo Rosa Tshuma's novel, House of Stone

Kenyan writer Kiprop Kimutai's short story speaks about the privilege of wealth in a queer environment

Does trauma define the person? Aminatta Forna's latest novel, Happiness, explores love and loss

Musician examines his integrity in Nigerian magical realism novel Taduno's Song

The struggle in Ethiopia continues - there's no stopping half way, says political poet Hama Tuma

Tense, compelling Zimbabwean tales in Behind Enemy Lines short stories

Naivo's Beyond the Rice Fields crafts an epic historical tale set in the highlands of Madagascar

Karim Miské dazzles readers with award-winning crime novel "Arab Jazz"

Characters haunted by memories, prejudice in Nigeria novel "Crocodile Girl"

A glimpse into the lives of Lagosians in Nigerian Ayo Sogunro's short story collection

Love and infertility issues in "Stay with Me", a new novel by Ayòbámi Adébáyò

Young Congolese man trying to deal with life and school in JJ Bola's new novel; Nommo Awards for African Speculative Fiction

South Africa's WWI tragedy immortalised in new novel; Rwandan genocide as seen by Djiboutian writer

Surviving the outbreak of the Somali civil war; academic finds modern-day parallels to 19th century Muslim leader

Dynamic Duo of Bahati e-books for 2017; Congo-Brazzaville author speaks on identity in The Heart of the Leopard Children

Life lessons shared in Ghanaian writer Ayesha Harruna Attah's novel, Saturday's Shadows

Two Nigerian authors hit bookstores with tales of Lagosian living and a poignant, humorous memoir

Writing for Black Sparkle millennials from a Nigerian perspective; and Botswana trans poetess brings individuality to the fore

South African novel Green Lion leaps off the page; the politics of touch in "The Lifebloom Gift"

Burundian novel Baho! looks at the weight of memory; Nneka Arimah's apocalyptic sci-fi short story