Bonus Material: Are African and Asian Writers Compromised by Writing in English?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka In our profile of the international literary magazine Wasafiri, Kenyan novelist Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o suggests that Africans and Asian writers who want a global audience need to be published in English. English does offers both a gateway to a broader international readership and a larger pool of potential translators. That said, it’s also a form of compromise …

Bonus Material: Wasafiri’s 25 Books That Shaped World Lit

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka LONDON: Wasafiri is the Kiswahili word for “travelers.” It is also the name of the esteemed UK literary quarterly focused on international writing. Founded in 1984 by Susheila Nasta, the magazine celebrates its 25th anniversary this month with 25 writers offering their picks for the book that most shaped world literature since the magazine’s inception.  Among those …

Kenya’s Storymoja Strives to Connect the African Continent

In Feature Articles by Guest Contributor

By Tolu Ogunlesi NAIROBI: “Words are the most important thing about coming together, said Kate Adie, the BBC’s former Chief News Correspondent, “and that is what Storymoja is all about.” Adie was speaking in Nairobi at a party held to round off this year’s Storymoja Hay Festival, which took place from July 31 to August 2. It is the first spin-off …

Bonus Material: An African Short Story Renaissance

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka In Africa, short story writing is thriving and the £10,000 Caine Prize for African Writing has had a great deal to do with this resurgence. The prize is given for a previously published work of fiction not longer than 10,000 words written in English by an African. It is named for the late Sir Michael Caine, former Chairman of …

Who Controls African Literature?

In Feature Articles by Guest Contributor

Editorial by Tolu Ogunlesi LAGOS: The literary world is once again shining a spotlight on Africa. There are new prizes: the South Africa-based PEN Studzinski Literary Award for short stories, and the Penguin Prize for African Writing, a pan-African prize covering both fiction and non-fiction genres. There’s a new book series, the “Penguin African Writers Series,” which will include not …

Bonus Material: Hay Festival Teams with Nairobi’s Storymoja

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka NAIROBI: The inaugural Storymoja Hay Festival will take place in Nairobi, Kenya this July 31-August 2. A collaboration between the UK’s Hay Festival and Nairobi’s Storymoja, with 132 events and 50 hours of programming featuring a veritable plethora of writers, artists, musicians and academics from across Africa. The event is the latest project of the Storymoja writing …

Bonus Material: Gaborone’s No. 1 Ladies Opera House

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka The city of Gaborone, Botswana has become known to many readers through Scottish author Alexander McCall Smith’s popular No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency novels and some local entrepreneurs had started the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency tours. It’s odd to think of this very sedate, business minded capitol as a popular destination for tourists — when I …

Nigerian Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on Straddling Continents

In Feature Articles by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka TORONTO: “In the West we have constructed a narrative where African wars and poverty are meaningless, with no real political or historical context, which suggests misery is this atavistic thing,” says Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. “But what gets forgotten is at the same time all this is happening, people are falling in love, people are still …

Cape Town Book Fair Attracts Crowds, Questions Role

In Feature Articles by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka SOUTH AFRICA: “Sustainability of the Fair is a challenge, if you measure it against what it intends to be as a trade event, then we have significant challenges ahead of us,”  said Vanessa Badroodien, director of the Cape Town Book Fair, which has been running since June 13, and ends today. “It’s simply hard for publishers to …