Feast, Famine and Potluck

Feast, Famine and Potluck

A review written by Brian Oduti


Feast, Famine and Potluck is a collection of nineteen short stories from across Africa published by Short Story Day Africa. The diverse themes covered range from romance to food, vacations to war. The collection travels across time and space through multiple African cultures in three hundred pages.

It includes the 2014 Caine Prize winning short story, ‘My Father’s Head’ by Okwiri Oduor. My favourite tale is ‘Looking’, which is about a woman looking for her soulmate. I found Beverly Nambozo’s use of Facebook wall conversations innovative.

A single sentence cannot easily summarise the stories in the collection. A sample includes a Somali family in search of food amidst war, a family in Northern Uganda awaiting food relief, a divorced woman going on vacation with her son and also a man’s memories as an eleven year old boy in an army camp.

Both emerging and established writers are featured in the anthology. In their different styles they explore the complications of the human condition. Wit and metaphor make this collection a worthwhile read.