Shortlisted for International Book Prize

The Dundee International Book Prize announced their short list for 2014.  Sea Never Dry, my novel about dirty cops and drug trafficking in West Africa, made the list.  Thick with spies and fetish priests, Internet fraudsters and the Ghanaian orphans turning a buck on Accra’s e-waste ash heaps, Sea Never Dry centers on the conflict between Western development efforts and lucrative criminal activity in the developing world.

The DIB Prize will soon publish excerpts from shortlisted novels.  Congrats to fellow shortlistees!

  • A Village Drowned – Sheena Lambert (Dublin, Ireland)
  • Some Things the English – Rachel J Fenton (Auckland, New Zealand)
  • Ida – Amy Mason (Bristol, England)
  • Daughters of the House of Love – Veronica Birch (West Country, England)
  • Under the Tamarind Tree – Rosaliene Bacchus (California, USA)
  • The Open Arms of the Sea – Jasper Dorgan (Wiltshire, England)
  • The Dreaming – Suzy Norman (London, England)
  • Out Like a Lion – Robin Martin (New York, USA)
  • Cats in a Pipe – Lora Hughes (Yorkshire, England)

Meanwhile, I’m pleased to present the opening chapters of Sea Never Dry here.  Thanks for reading, and please share!  -ben


August 2010

Kerri tried making Africa just another continent, a forgotten place very far away.  But Africa would not let go.

First there were the Jamaican migrants who passed her father’s farm each warm summer dusk.  She sat on the porch, baseball on the radio, and watched those sons of Africa in broken footwear move up the road to the Extra Mart.  There they purchased Slim Jims and pints of rum to liven up the watery beer rationed by the screws at the Colbro brothers’ tobacco farm.  They needed the booze after broiling afternoons bending their backs beneath the tobacco nets, slave labor in brutal heat.  Their appearance each summer was a fact she’d grown up with.  Their continued presence was the only thing about Scarborough that hadn’t changed during her twenty months away.

Read More

Sea Never Dry began as a short story originally published as One Dead Cop in 2012 by Umbrella Factory Magazine.






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