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 …

An American Eyes New African Lit

In Feature Articles by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka On the face of it, Rob Spillman is an unlikely candidate to be editor of Gods and Soldiers: The Penguin Anthology of Contemporary African Writing. He is, after all, a white guy from Brooklyn. “A few years ago I published an international issue of Tin House, the literary journal I edit,” says Spillman. “For six months I …