New African Fiction

•1,June 20, 2015 • Leave a Comment

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Made in Africa: seven publishers changing the African fiction publishing scene

In a recent New York Times article, Nigerian writer Tricia Nwaubani argued that Western publishers still determine the type of African story to be published and this is often for Western eyes. This is Africa’s Bwesigye bwa Mwesigire looks at the other side of the coin through the Made in Africa II series, where he talks to seven publishers at the centre of the growth of new African Literature made on and for the continent.

For many, Nwaubani’s article says so much truth. The most renown names in African Literature in Western media are those whose work has been published in the West. Some indeed became famous in Africa and have been applauded only after their works were published and praised in the West. One can risk to speculate that Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is the typical African writer, praised and published in the West, and with a wider Western readership than an African one. Despite her eloquent criticism of the production of a single stereotypical story about Africa by the West, it is hard to imagine Chimamanda as a literary star without putting the West’s literary infrastructure in the picture.

Read further @ This is Africa

Dystopia is Flourishing

•1,June 3, 2015 • Leave a Comment

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What’s The Matter With Dystopia?

Dystopia is flourishing. In the process, it is becoming routine and losing its political power.

If current fiction is to be believed, postapocalyptic wastelands will in the not too distant future be as common as parking lots, deadly plagues as widespread as the flu, and cannibalism no more unusual than a visit to McDonald’s. Dozens of writers have delved into the genre over the last decade, from newcomers such as Edan Lepucki (California, 2014) to old hands like Cormac McCarthy (The Road, 2006). Young adult novels in the genre abound, from Suzanne Collins’s Hunger Games trilogy (2008–2010) and Veronica Roth’s Divergent series (2011–2013) to Lydia Millet’s Pills and Starships (2014). The scenarios stretch from hurricanes that devastate New York City, as in Nathaniel Rich’s eerily prescient Odds Against Tomorrow (2013), to global infestations of genetically engineered species that drive humankind to the edge of starvation, as in Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl (2009). The fall season of 2014 added a host of new offerings in the genre, including David Mitchell’s The Bone Clocks, Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven, Michael Faber’s Book of Strange New Things, and Howard Jacobson’s J.

Dystopia as a literary genre by and large developed in the 20th century, in the shadow of world wars, totalitarianisms, genocides, and looming threats of nuclear war and environmental crisis — with a few earlier exceptions such as Jean-Baptiste Cousin de Grainville’s Le dernier homme (1805) and Mary Shelley’s The Last Man (1826). Over much of the 20th century, it functioned as a powerful tool of political criticism, from E. M. Forster’s “The Machine Stops” (1909), Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We (1924), and (1932) to George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), John Brunner’s The Sheep Look Up (1972), and Marge Piercy’s Woman on the Edge of Time (1976). From the crowd of more recent titles, Bacigalupi’s Windup Girl distinguishes itself as a text with similar visionary power, among other things because it looks at the collapse of the current world order from Bangkok rather than New York or London. But many other recent dystopias fall flat even as they continue to sell copies: Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam, Chang-rae Lee’s On Such a Full Sea, and Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway’s The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View from the Future point to some of the reasons why dystopias, far from unsettling their readers, have become familiar and comfortable. Their focus on details of everyday life makes survivalists hard to tell apart from hipsters, their portrayals of apocalypse tend to recycle well-known motifs from earlier science fiction, and their visions of the future serve mostly to reconfirm well-established views of the present.

Atwood’s MaddAddam concludes the trilogy that began with Oryx and Crake (2003) and continued with The Year of the Flood (2009). In the first volume, as you may remember, the superbly talented bioengineer nicknamed Crake wiped out most of humankind with a lab-designed virus and replaced it with a new species, the Crakers, made from an innovative combination of human, animal, and plant genes. Humanoid in appearance but childlike and genetically deprogrammed from any tendency toward violence, culture, or spirituality, the Crakers were supposed to inaugurate a better future. Crake’s childhood friend Jimmy, one of the few survivors of the global plague, took on the task of shepherding them into their new life by telling them carefully crafted stories of origins and explanations of their present surroundings, converting genocide into genesis.

Read further @ Huffington Post

The Book of Negroes as Miniseries

•1,June 3, 2015 • Leave a Comment

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‘The Book Of Negroes’ On CBC: Miniseries Not To Be Missed

Slavery is a dark chapter in U.S. history, but what many people don’t know is that it’s part of Canadian history as well. Whether it’s unfamiliarity with what happened in our own country or it’s just easier to point the finger at the bad folks south of the border, some of us — heck, most of us — are simply unaware.

Canadians are still in denial, myself included. I understand there are important stories to tell, but personally I don’t really fancy watching a movie that may earn critical acclaim but is brutally accurate and packed with vivid, stomach-churning imagery of pain, cruelty and horrific violence. I’m not sure if I should be ashamed for not wanting to watch parts of barbaric history and trading in human flesh; all I do know is the subject matter makes me angry-hot, to the point where all I see is red and steam is on the verge of coming out of my ears. And from an entertainment point of view, that’s not how I want to feel when watching something.

Based on Lawrence Hill’s award-winning novel of the same name, “The Book Of Negroes” follows the harrowing journey of Aminata Diallo (Aunjanue Ellis), who was kidnapped from her village in West Africa as a girl, forced to walk to the ocean where she and others were sent to the U.S., sold and put to work on a South Carolina plantation.

Read further @ Huffington Post

Short Story on the Importance of Healthcare

•1,June 3, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Read Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s new short story, ‘Olikoye’

A new short story by Americanah author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, titled Olikoye, surfaced on the platform Medium on Monday after being originally published in the story collection The Art of Saving a Lifecommissioned by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to spotlight the value of vaccines. The quick but poignant read is narrated by a woman reflecting on the many lives lost to disease—and those saved by modern medicine—in Lagos, Nigeria, as she gives birth to her first child.

“I hope the story humanizes the importance of healthcare, in addition to paying tribute to a great Nigerian,” Adichie says on the site. “I was happy to be involved because I admire the work being done, and because I believe that access to basic healthcare is a human right.”

One of the most distinguished figures in this generation’s wave of African literature, Adichie is known for her novels AmericanahPurple Hibiscus, and Half of a Yellow Sun, as well as her recently published essay We Should All Be Feminists—based on the speech of the same title that Beyoncé sampled on “Flawless.”

Source: Entertainment Weekly

Celebrating Langston Hughes’ 113th birthday

•1,June 3, 2015 • Leave a Comment

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Google has created an animated Doodle to celebrate Langston Hughes’ 113th birthday. The image pays homage to the famed African-American writer’s poem “I Dream a World.” The video embedded below features music from the Boston Typewriter Orchestra.

Final Insurgent Trailer

•1,June 3, 2015 • Leave a Comment

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Can’t wait for ‘Stand together’ from the Insurgent Series.

African Romance Novels Debuts

•1,June 3, 2015 • Leave a Comment

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Ankara Press Debuts 6 African Romance Novels

Step aside Mills and Boon. Ankara Press is here! The new and hip romance story imprint that’s had African literary Twitter buzzing for weeks is worth every beam of spotlight it’s enjoying at the moment.

All six debut titles are high-quality, absorbing, and easy-to-read African love stories set in cities as diverse as Lagos, Cape Town, and Jos.

I’ve read three out of the six titles rolled out on December 15th and can say, with the authority and the know-how of a literary blogger, that these purse-size novellas will be a literary obsession in 2015.

These are the kinds of novels I like to call literary small-chops. They’re short and accessible on mobiles or tablets, so they’ll go anywhere your purse goes. But they are also such fun to read and can—word of warning—be addicting.

Read further @ Brittlepaper 

 
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