A #PnP through which we look back to our 2022 archives, focusing on the short story prize and prizing African writing. We take the leading footprints of Davina Kawuma‘s writer-reader, reader-writer review of Afritondo’s inaugural short story prize anthology, Yellow… Read More ›
AiW Featured – archive highlights
Q&A: George Norman Sylvester – Ananse comics, Captain Pepsodent and African superheroes in 1990s Ghana
AiW Guest: Tessa Pijnaker. This post forms part of an Africa in Words’ series on African superheroes, guest edited by Tessa Pijnaker, PhD student in African Studies and Anthropology at the University of Birmingham. This sixth post in the series… Read More ›
Q&As: Rachel Zadok from Short Story Day Africa- Publisher, AKO Caine Prize shortlist 2022
Last week, as part of our annual AKO Caine Prize coverage, we ran Guest reviews of the 5 stories shortlisted for the 2022 award. This week, and leading up to the winner announcement on Monday 18 July, we are very… Read More ›
Review Q&A: ‘Anxious Joburg: the inner lives of a Global South City’ with co-editor Nicky Falkof
Ahead of our forthcoming review of Anxious Joburg: The Inner Lives of a Global South City (Wits UP, 2020), we are publishing here an accompanying Q&A. Answering the questions is Nicky Falkof, co-editor (with Cobus van Staden) of the book. Asking… Read More ›
AiW long read: Caine 2021 – A prize coming of age
AiW Guest: Doseline Kiguru AiW note: As with every year since “Joining the Caine Prize ‘Blog-Carnival’” back in 2013 — Africa in Words has engaged with the AKO Caine Prize for African Writers in the run up to the winner… Read More ›
Celebrating World Poetry Day with readings from Wreaths for A Wayfarer
AiW Guests: Nduka Otiono and Uche Peter Umezurike. AiW note: by way of introduction to our Guest post here, we are very pleased to be able to share with the editors news of the African release of Wreaths for a… Read More ›
Review: A Reckoning with East Africa’s Colonial Histories – Abdulrazak Gurnah’s ‘Afterlives’
AiW Guest: Florian Stadtler.
German colonial history remains little explored in fiction. Since the 1880s, Kaiser Wilhelm II, grandson of Queen Victoria, had the ambition to secure what was then termed Germany’s ‘Platz and der Sonne’, its place in the sun, Von Bülow’s infamous phrase in praise of Germany’s expansionist colonial policies. In popular historical discourse of German colonialism, attention tends to focus more on Deutsch-Südwestafrika…
Q&A with Abdulrazak Gurnah about latest novel ‘Afterlives’: “These stories have been with me all along…”
By AiW Guest: Judyannet Muchiri.
Judyannet Muchiri: This is a heavy story and yet there are moments of stillness, joy, love, and tenderness, if you will. I wonder how it is for you as a writer to capture this human existence in its totality as you have done in Afterlives.
Abdulrazak Gurnah: My interest was not to write about the war or the ugliness of colonialism. Instead I want to make sure the context in which war and colonialism happened is understood. And that the people in that context were people with entire existences. I want to show how people who are wounded by the war and by life itself cope in these circumstances. Using the unexpected kindnesses in the story, I wanted to show that there is potential for kindness in people and sometimes circumstances can draw such kindness from us.
“Such noise and screams and blood”: A Review of Abdulrazak Gurnah’s ‘Afterlives’ (2020)
By AiW Guest: Judyannet Muchiri.
In the wake of a bad dream, one of the protagonists in Abdulrazak Gurnah’s Afterlives, Hamza, laments: “such noise and screams and blood”. These words keep resounding when one thinks about the disruption caused by colonialism in Africa – how our grandparents and ancestors must have felt with the arrival of those who set themselves up as colonial masters.
Our 2020 Festive Favourites: Season’s Reading from Africa in Words
After a difficult year for everyone, the holiday time is looking harder than before. A time to normally spend with family and relaxation has become one of stress and uncertainty. However, we hope that the holidays can still be a… Read More ›
Creative Times “in the making”: unfolding the Keiskamma COVID-19 Tapestry of Resilience
AiW note: Posts over 5 days this week, have introduced the epic endeavour of the Keiskamma COVID-19 Resilience Tapestry being made by the Keiskamma Art Project in the rural hamlet of Hamburg, South Africa, through the place, the people –… Read More ›
Celebrating ‘The Decade Project’ with Brittle Paper: 10 AiW African Literary Cultural Faves
Literary blog and archiving platform Brittle Paper turns 10 this year! Happy birthday BP! This month we take up their invitation to join their celebrations in their #DecadeProject with a post marking the last ten years as a significant decade… Read More ›
Q&A: Between the Generations- An Anthology for Ama Ata Aidoo at 80
Ft. AiW Guests: Ivor Agyeman-Duah, Ray Ndebi, Ayesha Harruna Attah, and Martin Egblewogbe. AiW note: The launch of Between the Generations- An Anthology for Ama Ata Aidoo at 80, due to be hosted by Nigerian Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka… Read More ›
In other Words… AiW news and April’s wrap
As we move through the changed circumstances, timelines and spaces of now, our round-up of ‘other words’ – news on AiW’s radar, collated from across our platforms – has moved to a monthly edition for April. Please be in touch… Read More ›
The 23rd Time of the Writer: The First Virtual Literary Festival of 2020
The 23rd Time of the Writer International Festival – scheduled to take place in Durban, South Africa from 16th to 21st March – went online this year. In spite of challenges posed by the global pandemic, University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Centre… Read More ›
In other Words… AiW news and quarterly wrap (Jan-March 2020)
A round-up of other words – our top posts & quarterly news – on AiW’s radar, collated from across our platforms, January through March (with an added wish for safety and health for you and yours as we head on… Read More ›
Words from AiW…
25 March 2020, Lowell, Massachusetts, USA. In my day job as faculty member in a university near Boston, I began an email to my students the other day, addressing the changes we are making to move instruction online for the… Read More ›
Responding to Carli Coetzee’s “Unsettling the Air-conditioned Room”: “Laboratory Building” and Africa-based and focused Literary Activism (2/2)
AiW Guest Bwesigye bwa Mwesigire AiW note: Africa in Words has long been engaged with the work of Carli Coetzee, and we particularly admire the care that she takes in thinking through the nature of our work as academics and… Read More ›
Responding to Carli Coetzee’s ‘Unsettling the Air-conditioned Room’: Journal Work as Ethos (1/2)
AiW Guest Rotimi Fasan AiW note: Africa in Words has long been engaged with the work of Carli Coetzee, and we particularly admire the care that she takes in thinking through the nature of our work as academics and the… Read More ›
Plagiarism, Intertextuality, and the Same Old Story: The Caine Prize Controversy is Not Original
On September 3, 2019, the Caine Prize for African Writing announced that it was removing Tochukwu Okafor’s “All Our Lives” from the 2019 short list for the Prize for short fiction for “failure to attribute an original source.” The 2019… Read More ›