AiW Guest: Sanya Osha.With Osha’s Words on the Times – a Q&A subset inititated to connect us up in our experiences of the pandemic – below… Ola Rotimi is a major Nigerian dramatist who passed away in 2000. Some of… Read More ›
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.
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.
AiW Guest: Thulani Angoma-Mzini There is a silence, or perhaps a deafness, that the lay man (and particularly the cis-gendered heterosexual man) indulges in when it comes to bodies gendered differently to theirs. The collection of essays titled Living While… Read More ›
AiW note: This week, we bring you two reviews of Billy Kahora’s short story collection, The Cape Cod Bicycle Wars and Other Stories – originally published by Huza Press (Kigali) in 2019 and made available in the US with Ohio University Press in… Read More ›
AiW Guest: Ofonime Inyang. AiW note: This week, we bring you two reviews of Billy Kahora’s short story collection, The Cape Cod Bicycle Wars and Other Stories – originally published by Huza Press (Kigali) in 2019 and made available in the US… Read More ›
AiW Guest: Tikondwe Kaphagawani Chimkowola. Romeo Oriogun’s Sacrament of Bodies (2020) opens with a quote from Kazim Ali that mourns, “in one place everyone looks like me – has my name – I am the most foreign”. This longing for… Read More ›
AiW Guest: Thulani Angoma-Mzini. In The Border Jumper (2019), Christopher Mlalazi upends the “Jim comes to Joburg” trope about the trafficking of rural dreams in a big city. Mlalazi has created a grimy, high-speed chase, shoot-‘em-up style novel written with… Read More ›
AiW Guest: Thulani Angoma-Mzini In the anthology Black Tax: Burden or Ubuntu (2019), award winning author Niq Mhlongo convenes a parliament of the who’s who of South African literati to dissect the term ‘black tax’. In South Africa the term… Read More ›
Caine Prize 2020: ‘Your appreciation of power will grow’: A Review of Erica Sugo Anyadike’s ‘How to Marry an African President’
AiW Note: AiW’s annual review series of what is now the AKO Caine Prize is back. We’ve been talking about prize culture for a long time at Africa in Words; Kate Wallis’s post on our joining the Caine Prize “blogathon” back in… Read More ›
AiW Guest: Tọ́pẹ́ Salaudeen-Adégòkè. AiW note: Tọ́pẹ́, returning as a Guest Author with this review for AiW, has also given us his Words on the Times, a Q&A series initiated to connect up and share the experiences of life and work during… Read More ›
In today’s digest, our Reviews team – Wesley, Tom, and Katie – share two each of what’s on – or just on top – of their current bedside reading piles…
AiW Guest: Zahra Banday. AiW note: We caught up with our Guest Reviewer, Zahra Banday, for some of her Words on the Times – an AiW series of Q&As, connecting artists, writers, thinkers and educators in our new experiences of… Read More ›