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Showing posts from September, 2010

Know Your Laureate of African Origin Part I

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Albert Camus, Nobel Laureate 1957 Beginning today, I would profiling Nobel Laureates of African descent every Monday. Since there aren't many of them this postings would last all through October, unless new events come in.  Profile Today we talk about Albert Camus . Camus (November 7, 1913 to January 4, 1960) is the first Nobel Laureate in Literature of African descent. He is a French Algerian Author, Philosopher and Journalist. His biography at the Nobel website states that he was a representative of non-metropolitan French literature. His origin in Algeria and his experiences there in the thirties were dominating influences in his thought and work. Of semi-proletarian parents, early attached to intellectual circles of strongly revolutionary tendencies, with a deep interest in Philosophy (only chance prevented him from pursuing a university career in that field), he came to France at the age of twenty-five.  Camus joined the resistance movement during the occupation

37-39. Non-African Books I have Read this Year

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This blog is aimed at promoting African Literature. Consequently, all interviews, reviews, events, and profiles concern African authors, published or unpublished. However, a suggestion was made that once a while I let others in on non-African authored books I have been reading and so to resolve this, I tried conducting a poll. Unfortunately, the question got lost in the dark background of the blog and there was no way I could edit it. What I am doing today is to also solicit your views concerning the inclusion of non-African authored books. The reasoning behind this blog is simple. I have read a lot of book blogs and almost always, about ninety-nine percent of what they read, reviewed or talked about were Western books. Only a few book bloggers profiled  authored by Africans and even then the usual authors comprising Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka, Ngugi wa Thiong'o, Ben Okri and recently Chimamanda were the most discussed books. So I decided to use this blog to fill that gap, bl

The Criterion Calls for Submission

The Criterion: An International Journal in English, ISSN (0976-8165) invites academic articles, poetry, short fiction, book reviews, interviews with author or critic for its forthcoming issue, Vol. I, Issue III (December 2010). Deadline  is 1st November 2010. Send your submission(s) to Editor-in-Chief Dr. Vishwanath Bite to this email: vishwanathbite@gmail.com.  Visit their homepage for details.

Interview with Ngozi Achebe, Author of The Blacksmith's Daughter

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Today, I interview Dr. Ngozi Achebe , a Medical Practitioner, a mother and an author. Dr Achebe's novelist first novel, The Blacksmith Daughter has just been published.   This interview is the last of six-interviews I scheduled with six new authors from three different countries. It started with Tendai Huchu  (Zimbabwe), Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond (Ghana), Osundolire Ifelanwa , Myne Whitman (both from Nigeria) and Bryony Rheams (Zimbabwe). However, I also interviewed Fred McBagonluri (Ghana) along the line. Can you tell us something about yourself? I'm a medical doctor and a mother of two. I currently live in the States where I practice medicine and also write. Onaedo is my first published book. When did you begin your literary writings? As a child, especially growing up around people that wrote a lot and read a lot. Which books did you find yourself reading whilst growing up and which are you currently reading? I read quite a variety of books growing up. I was lucky that

Library Additions and Other Award News

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What would you do when you have searched for a book for so long and the time you found it, at a bookshop, you had only as much money as would take you back to the office? Do you buy it and walk, knowing that the distance between your current location, the bookshop, to your destination, the office, can in noway be covered by walking; or would you forgo it and risk spending another ten years or more searching for it? I chose the former and prayed for a miracle. And this is how come I have in my possession Ayi Kwei Armah's The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born. Yeah! But I did not walk after the purchase. Miraculously, I met a friend who also love Ayi Kwei Armah and he lent me some money for transport and also got himself a copy. In Other News Shachi Kaul The Commonwealth Short Story Competition 2010 winners have been announced. The overall winner was Shachi Kaul from India with Retirement . Shachi is a banker and former hotelier. She started writing during a sabbatical from

The Short Story Genre: Chimamanda and Uwem in The New Yorker

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Adichie, in TNY Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie , author of Half of a Yellow Sun , Purple Hibiscus and The Thing Around Your Neck , has published a short story in The New Yorker titled Birdsong. Follow this link to read so that we can discuss in the comment box. Also, in January of this year, Uwem Akpan , author of the dystopian short story collection, Say You're One of Them , an Oprah Book Club selection, published another short story in The New Yorker titled Baptizing the Gun. Read this piece and let me know what you think. Follow the link here .

A Curve in the Tell

There is a curve deeply seated in their tell of how things that must be are; of how the bird instead of flying hops and becomes no longer a bird but a frog. I cannot see with borrowed eyes or think with(in) a mind  not mine but must unity's quest merge all selves into a homogenous consistency such that you curve the tale of your tell? when our survival is only insured through gene-crossing at conception point? So you cal me this-and-that for refusing to be you... There is a curve in your tell. copyright by Nana Fredua-Agyeman It's been a long time since I last posted a poem of mine here.

36. Before I Forget by Andre Brink, A Review

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Title: Before I Forget Author: Andre Brink Genre: Novel (Reflective) Publisher: Vintage Pages: 311 Year of First Publication: 2004 (this edition, 2008) Country: South Africa "You died at seventeen minutes to ten" is the first sentence in this reflective novel by Andre Brink , a two-time Booker Shortlist author of An Instant in the Wind (in 1976) and Rumours of Rain (in 1978). The story, written in the first person but shifting between the present and the past, is a tribute by Chris Minnaar, a writer at the twilight of his life and career, addressing a loved one, who had just passed away. This love one is young Rachel who, though married, together with her husband, has kept Chris Minnaar, the first person writer and narrator, as a friend and a member of their family. Chris reminisces all the fun he had had with her and how he appreciated it. However, Chris intelligently tells his life story through this 'address' by digressing from a given point

Interview with Fred McBagonluri

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Fred McBagonluri, PhD Keeping this blog has brought me into 'virtual' contact with great personalities whom, even in my wildest and widest daydreams, I would not have met let alone communicate with. I am glad that ImageNations has done this for me. Last Tuesday, September 7, I profiled Dr Fred McBagonluri , a scientist who finds time to write. Dr McBagonluri promised to grant ImageNations an interview even though he is busy as a Sloan Member of MIT. Yes, you read it well. He deals with complex mathematical equations and computerised innovations and still finds time to write. This interview has shot my heart and mind on a joyous trajectory. So here is the interview. You have achieved great feat as an Engineer, almost nearly making it to Space. Dr. McBagonluri, can you please tell us something about yourself? Not related to your fiction writing. I was raised by my grandparents in East Legon (Bawaleshie), who never had any formal education. Obviously, they were the wisest pe

Penguin Prize for African Writing

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The winners of the Penguin Prize for African Writing was announced on September 4, 2010. There were two categories for the awards: fiction and non fiction. The Fiction prize was won by Ellen Banda-Aaku with Patchwork. Ellen was born in Zambia but now lives in London. About Patchwork : Destined from birth to inhabit very different worlds--that of her father, the wealthy Joseph Sakavungo, and that of her mother, his mistress--this emotive tale takes us to the heart of a young girl's attempts to come to terms with her own identity and fashion for herself from the patchwork of the life she was born into. The Non-Fiction prize was won by Pius Adesanmi with You're Not a Country, Africa! Pius was born in Nigeria but now lives in Ottawa, Canada. About You're Not a Country, Africa! : In this groundbreaking collection of essays Pius Adesanmi tries to unravel what it is that Africa means to him as an African, and by extension to all those who inhabit this continent of extremes.

Man Booker Shortlist 2010

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The Man Booker Shortlist came out yesterday, September 7, 2010. The list has been shortened from the longlist of thirteen (13) to a shortlist of six (6). This time the brouhaha that always follows a shortlist has been slightly muted as most people agree that all the shortlisted authors deserve to be there. Yes! But The Man Booker Prize, worth 50,000 Pounds, would not be Man Booker without the slightest controversies concerning those who are shortlisted. So the absence of Christos Tsiolkas, the Australian author of The Slap and David Mitchell's The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet , has become an issue and it is very well being discussed by literary enthusiasts. ImageNations interest is in Damon Galgut's In A Strange Room . If Damon's shortlisted book wins the Man Booker Prize he would be the third South African to win the prize, after Nadine Gordimer won with The Conservationist in 1974 and J.M. Coetzee won with Life and Times of Michael K in 1983 and with Disgr

Meet Fred McBagonluri, a Scientist and Novelist

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Dr Fred McBagonluri If you have no time to write, you definitely were not born to write. All those who have the passion to write find time to do so including one person who was a finalist in the selection interview for NASA astronaut in the USA and had it not been financial constraint that limited the number of those to be chosen at the time, he would have made a name for himself as the first black African born outside of the USA to go to Moon and would also have achieved his long-held dream. Fred McBagonluri is this man. This man of multiple talents who, upon hearing of the Apollo 11 lunar landing, started corresponding with NASA, whilst still a pupil at the University of Ghana primary school, was born in East Legon, Ghana. He was the second of three sons and his grandfather was the chief of the Upper West Region of Ghana. He attended the St. Louis Prep School and graduated with a distinction from Nandom Secondary School. He briefly attended the St. Augustine's College in Cape

ImageNations on The Criterion

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ImageNations review of Ayi Kwei Armah's The Healers has been published by The Criterion , An International Journal in English (ISSN 0976-8165). The Criterion is a peer-reviewed academic e-journal and is designed to publish theoretical articles and book reviews on interdisciplinary cross-currents in the humanities adn social sciences. The Criterion encourages interpretative crticism and fresh insights into new and established authors and texts and seeks to generate a serious debate on different academic issues. It also ecourages literary contributions in the form of original as well as translated poetry and fiction. I am happy to know that the little things I am doing here is getting recognition from various and important sources. However, it is not me who deserves to be happy but you; you readers who keep coming back and keep commenting and through these actions keep me encouraged. You who do not give up on me and who believe in the little things that is going on herer. It is you

An Interview with Bryony Rheams, author of This September Sun

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We continue today with our interviews with new authors, which began about two weeks ago. Today we interview the fifth author in the series,  Bryony Rheams , author of  This September Sun . Bryony Rheams was able to make some time to answer some questions for ImageNations. Soon after its release, This September Sun has won an award for first book in Zimbabwe.  Can you tell us something about yourself (place of birth, school and anything in between) I was born in Kadoma, Zimbabwe in 1974. We moved around a bit in my early years before finally moving to a mine just outside Bulawayo when I was about eight. I went to school in Bulawayo, completing my A levels in 1992. I then went to the UK on a gap year and also spent another year working in Zimbabwe before going back to the UK to go to university. Which writers or people have influenced your writing? Doris Lessing and Virginia Woolf How would you describe your style of writing? People tell me my writing is very easy to read, conversatio

35. Powder Necklace by Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond

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  Title: Powder Necklace Author: Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond Genre: Young Adult Fiction Publishers: Washington Square Press Pages: 280 Year of Publication: 2010 Country: Britain, Ghana, USA Where is home? Where your parents come from? Or where you were born? Or where one chooses to call home? The quest for an identity, for belonging to a group, either based on colour or language or thought, has become a quest that has proved and would continue to prove insurmountable. It would be with us for many generations to come, until such a day when we shall wake up and say 'We are people of the earth'.  Powder Necklace is a coming of age story about a young girl whose divorced Ghanaian parents, living on opposite sides of the world (America and England), was herself born in England. Does she become English? Of course that's how she described herself, at least that's how she felt when her 'overprotective' mother sent her to Ghana after seeing her with a boy in thei