- Category: TOW 2006
Monica Arac de Nyeko graduated from Makerere University and Groningen University with a BA in Education and a MA in Humanitarian Assistance. A member of the Uganda Women Writers Association (FEMRITE), she was short-listed for the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2004 for her short storyStrange Fruit and won first prize in the Women's World Voices in War Zones for her personal essay In the Stars.
She sees herself as part of the new generation of African writers seeking an imperative voice in Africa today:
”As I start to understand myself better, as I change, as my disappointments, hopes and visions shape my thought, I find that writing has become like a quest for me, mostly to understand myself, to explain myself to myself and then to understand that around me, why things are the way they are.”
“My writing is shaped by these battles which are my own, yet my anger and my quests are all so tied to my identify, history, my memory of many things, but especially of home the way it was and is with the war, the poverty.”
“As a writer, my own internal battles shape my motives and interaction with my audience to whom I try to offer an alternative for consideration, I question, I challenge, sometimes I rant, and shout and demand to be heard because in this space where so many things seem to be going wrong, I feel I have as much right to poke at people's thoughts with an offer of my own view of the way things should and can be/ It is my Uganda, my land, Africa, my world, my universe, too after all and it will be for my children.'
Monica Arac de Nyeko's fiction and poetry has appeared in a variety of publications in different countries. Her short fiction Back Home is forthcoming in the New African Writer's anthologyedited by Helon Habila and Kadija George, and she is currently working on a novel under the working title, Small People.
Chained (short story) in Words from a Granary , FEMRITE Publications, 2001
Bride Price for my Daughter (short story) in Tears of Hope anthology, FEMRITE Publications, 2003
Tribe, Somebody (poems) – Poetry International , San Diego State University , 2003
October Sunrise in Memories of Sun Anthology,Greenwillow Books, 2004
Children of the Red Fields (novella extract) in An Anthology of War Stories from Northern Uganda, 2004
Last Dance (novella) for Fountain Junior Living Youth HIV/AIDS Series , Fountain Publishers, 2005
Grasshopper Redness (short story) in Seventh Street Alchemy Anthology, J acana Media, 2005
Strange Fruit (short story) in Seventh Street Alchemy Anthology , Jacana Media, 2005
Children of the Red Fields (novella) , Phoenix Publishers, 2005