Doreen Baingana is the Ugandan author of Tropical Fish: Stories out of Entebbe, which won the 2006 Commonwealth Prize for First Book, Africa Region, and the AWP Award for Short Fiction. She has twice been a finalist for the Caine Prize for African Writing. A Bread Loaf Writers Conference Fellow and a Fellow at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Centre, Baingana has also won a Washington Independent Writers Fiction Prize, and an Emerging Writer’s Fellowship from the Writer’s Center. She talked to Africa Book Club recently.
Our choice for February book of the month is Ugandan author Doreen Baingana’s multiple award winning debut, Tropical Fish: Tales from Entebbe
In this fiction debut, Baingana follows a Ugandan girl as she navigates the uncertain terrain of adolescence. Set mostly in pastoral Entebbe with stops in the cities Kampala and Los Angeles, Tropical Fish depicts the reality of life for Christine Mugisha and her family after Idi Amin’s dictatorship.
First published in 2005, by Oshun books, the book is Doreen Baingana’s debut short story collection. There are eight linked short stories about three sisters; Rosa, Patti and Christine. Set mostly in Entebbe, with short glimpses into the cities of Kampala and Los Angeles, the story focuses on these three sisters and their growth from childhood, through adolescence to adulthood.