Posts Tagged: African literature

“Language Orthodoxy,” the Adichie Wars, and Western Feminism’s Enduring Myopia

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Adichie is far more significant than her accusers seem to know.

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Writing to Live

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Nigerian author Ben Okri reflected on his prize-winning novel, The Famished Road (1991), in the Guardian, saying that he wrote it to find reasons to live. The book, he writes, drew heavily from strange stories his mother told him and his father’s intrinsically African philosophies: The novel was drawn from a half-glimpsed world, and it was fading […]

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The Writing Life in Nigeria

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A new essay by Nigerian author A. Igoni Barrett (Love Is Power, or Something Like That and Blackass) highlights the ways poverty and struggle work against those in Nigeria who would be writers: I found nothing there for me [at his university in Ibadan]. No friends with similar tastes in books. No literary journals by […]

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Nollywood in Vogue

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Nearly a decade ago, Binvayanga Wainaina wrote an essay for Granta that changed his whole life. Now, he looks at the interior of African publishing, the landscape of literature on the continent, and the “Nollywoodification of the book market”: “I am least interested about how Europe, the West, represents Africa. The essay I wrote – ‘How to […]

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“Black to the Future”

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Black to the future was/is a radical, dangerous, and daring dream—an impossibility. Science fiction and fantasy (sf&f) is a rehearsal of the impossible, an ideal realm for redefinition and reinvention. For Africans and their descendants in the diaspora, decolonizing our mind/body/spirits was/is an on-going sf&f project. In a stellar essay for the LA Review of Books, […]

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African Literature in African Languages

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The BBC’s Gavin Esler conducted a brief but thought-provoking interview with Kenyan author Ngugi Wa Thiong’o. Whereas Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie declares she has “taken ownership of English,” Thiong’o balks at the idea of enriching only English-language literature at the expense of literature in languages like Igbo or Luo: “Can you or anybody else imagine French literature […]

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