- Category: TOW 2007
Doreen Baingana grew up in Entebbe, Uganda, and now divides her time between Uganda and the United States. Her collection, Tropical Fish: Stories out of Entebbe, a collection of linked short stories that explore the coming of age of three African sisters, won the Commonwealth Prize for First Book, Africa Region, 2006 and was a finalist for the Hurston-Wright Prize for Debut Fiction in 2006.
Baingana has won the Washington Independent Writers Fiction Prize and is a two-time finalist for the Caine Prize for African Writing. She has received fellowships and scholarships to the Bread Loaf Writers Conference and the Key West Writers Seminar, and an Artist's Grant from the District of Columbia. Baingana's fiction has been published in journals such as Glimmer Train, Chelsea, African American Review, Callaloo and The Sun; her poetry in the anthology, Beyond the Frontier ; and her essays and articles in The Guardian, UK and in New Vision and The Monitor newspapers in Uganda. She has a law degree from Makerere University, Kampala, and an MFA from the University of Maryland, where she later was a Writer-in-Residence. She was on the faculty of the Summer Literary Festival in Kenya in 2005 and 2006.
Doreen Baingana teaches at the Writer's Center, Bethesda, Maryland, works for Voice of America radio, is a columnist for the Ugandan magazine, African Woman, and is a member of the Ugandan women writers association, FEMRITE. Baingana writes out of love for the word. She explores the diverse ways African women, and others, face the world. She believes stories help us reflect on how we maneuver, gracefully or not, through life's challenges. Of Tropical Fish, The Virginia Quarterly Review has commented: “ Baingana deftly describes both the physical landscape and her characters' emotional terrain. Her narrative voice is strong, endowing the smallest situations with remarkable power" while the author Junot Díaz opines: “ Tropical Fish is an incandescence; it is a dream; it is a letter from a lover; it is a book of enormous beauty.”
Tropical Fish: Stories Out of Entebbe, University of Massachusetts Press, 2005