Showing posts from May, 2014

Discussion: The Diasporean African Novelist

Last week I brought the fact that most of the successful and famous African writers live outside of the continent, mostly in the UK and US, up for discussion. Today, I would want us to discuss another interesting trend, the immigrant stories of the African Diasporean Novelist. Any avid reader might by now have found out that most diasporean African novelists have written, at one point or another, an immigrant story. They are common in short story anthologies and also as independent novels and novellas. There are countless such stories. From Tayib Salih's  Seasons of Migration to the North , Benjamin Kwakye's The Other Crucifix , Brian Chikwava's Harare North , and Chimamanda Adichie's Americanah , these stories are not unique to a certain generation. (I am told NoViolet Bulawayo's We Need New Names  is also an immigrant story. I have not read this because I thought it a complete novel, as was wrongly marketed, instead of linked short stories, as I have been re

Discussion: African Writers and Migration

I used to bring up topics for discussions and even though participation is sometimes low, I enjoy the few comments that do come in. We need to do a lot to promote African literature. There is a trend among African writers which if not corrected could prevent some wonderful writers from being seen. The majority of Contemporary African writers live outside the continent. (And before anyone takes me on on what I mean by 'African writers', I refer to those writers whose names, when they should come up for awards, would be linked to a country on the continent. Some Africans have chosen to be Africans when it suits them.) It seems that if you are a writer on this continent and you have not won any major prize - especially the Caine Prize, you will remain anonymous forever even if you have been lucky enough to have been published by a publisher outside of the continent. Consequently, most writers either dream of winning some major award or of migrating to live partially or perman

New Used Books - In Search of Books

When it comes to reading, I am omnivorous. I read a lot of materials. However, even omnivores have their choicest food if it comes down to choosing. And no one makes me realise this than  Kinna . More than 98 percent of our discussions are centred on books and most often that is my most amazing moments. I love to talk about books - read, unread, released, newly published, etc. I just love books. When Kinna saw a post of some books I have read, she wondered whether my shelf is depleted of books. And alas, she was right. If you have fewer books to choose from, you have to make do with all books you have skipped over time. Consequently, when I saw that a Used Books dealer has spread his wares on the pavement of the Madina New Road road, I decided to take a look. What I have found, after years of searching and buying books, is that one could find strange and sought-after titles in such obscure locations. Except that the condition of the book cannot be guaranteed. In a country where

April in Review, Projections for May

My projections were to read three books in April but in the end I read only two. Too bad. This means that I am falling behind my ultimate goal of reading 60 books. I don't know when I can speed up. I should have read 20 books by the end of April; instead, I had read only 15. The following were the books I read: The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger . This is a unique love story. What if Time Travel is possible but isn't under the control of the person? What if it is a genetic defect? That is the problem with Henry and how will Clare, the eventual wife take it? In such situations, Time Travel is more dangerous than one would have thought.  Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell . This was a selection of the Writers Project of Ghana. It was my second reading in three years and the this has helped. In this period of mass hysteria, when the killer is praised for being the saviour and the victim is consistently blamed for the actions of the killer, no book is a

Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2014 Shortlist

The Commonwealth Short Story Prize announced its 2014 shortlist on April 30 for the different geographic areas: Africa, Asia, Canada and Europe, Caribbean and Pacific. Africa Ikanre by   Adelehin Ijasan (Nigeria) All Them Savages  by   Michelle Sacks (South Africa) Let’s Tell This Story Properly by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi (Uganda) Asia Grandmother by Yu-Mei Balasingamchow (Singapore) A Day in the Death  by Sara Adam Ang (Singapore) Canada and Europe The Night of Broken Glass by Jack Wang (Canada) On The Other Side by Idrissa Simmonds (Canada) Agnes Agnes Agnes by Luiza Sauma (United Kingdom) Household Gods by Tracy Fells (United Kingdom) Killing Time  by Lucy Caldwell (United Kingdom) Caribbean Cowboy by Helen Klonaris (Bahamas) Sending for Chantal by Maggie Harris (Guyana) Miss Annie Cooks Fish by Charmaine Rousseau (Trinidad and Tobago) Pacific The Dog and the Sea  by Lucy Treloar (Australia) Monkey Boy  by Janine Mikosza (Australia)