Is Africa Hot or Not?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka Every couple of years a new African writer appears to take the publishing world by storm. Two recent examples include the literary-minded Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, whose Half of a Yellow Sun won both the Orange Prize for Fiction in the United Kingdom and a $500,000 MacArthur genius grant in the United States. And on the commercial side, …

After Six Years, Germany’s KiWi Cashes In on Infinite Jest

In Europe by Amanda DeMarco

By Daniel Kalder Turkmen literature began in the 18th century, thanks to Makhtumkuli (1733- 1813) who composed mournful, painful poems about injustice, the decline of morals and the general harshness of life. Then came poets such as Mollanepes and Kemine whose works remain popular among Turkmen today. Makhtumkuli’s own poetry remained totally unknown in the West until the mid-1990s, when …

The Literary Life of the French Foreign Legion

In Europe by Guest Contributor

By Robert Girardi I was drawn to the French Foreign Legion—the subject of my new novel, Gorgeous East—for a variety of reasons. Chief among them has to do with a foolish weakness for old things: old books full of dust, old cars barely running, old chairs that you can barely sit in, old apartment buildings (hopefully without roaches) and most …

After 25 Years, Wasafiri Still Pushing Britain’s Literary Boundaries

In Feature Articles by Guest Contributor

By Belinda Otas LONDON: The Southbank is one of Europe’s largest arts centers and is celebrated worldwide for the diversity of its artistic programs. Similarly, a wide diversity of races, ethnicities and nationalities gathered in late October to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Wasafiri, the acclaimed London-based magazine of contemporary international writing. Wasafiri is a Kiswahili word and translates as …

In Praise of the Lowly Chapbook

In Feature Articles by Guest Contributor

Editorial by Bryce Milligan SAN ANTONIO: As a regional publisher whose books range from handmade chapbooks to 600-page works of fiction and history, I have been wondering what will become of the physical book in this brave new digital world. Already my paper-and-ink sales are declining as my ebook sales increase—except for, of all things, the lowly chapbook. I began …

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 …

Turkish Publisher Selçuk Altun’s Second Act

In Feature Articles by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka ISTANBUL: Selçuk Altun understands what it takes to market a novel. As the former executive chairman of YKY (Yapi Kredi Publications), one of Turkey’s largest and most prestigious publishers, he knew that if he wanted to bring his books to an audience outside Turkey, he’d have to do it on his own. So in 2007 he paid …

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 …