The Street Sweep

Meron Hadero

Meron Hadero’s short story “The Street Sweep,” which originally appeared in Issue 114, recently won the 2021 AKO Caine Prize for African Writing! To celebrate, we’re sharing the story in its entirety below. You can also read it in print by ordering a copy of Issue 114.

ZYZZYVA Volume 34, #3, Winter 2018
Getu stood in front of his mirror struggling to perfect a Windsor knot. He pulled the thick end of his tie through the loop, but the knot unraveled in his hands. He tried again, and again he failed. Did he really need the tie? He guessed it would probably be easier to persuade the guards at the Sheraton to let him in with one. And even then… But he couldn’t work out the steps, so Getu put the necktie in his pocket and decided to try his luck without it. Sitting at the edge of his mattress, he waited for
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