Petina Gappah, the newly minted winner of the Guardian First Book Award, objects to being labeled an African writer. Interesting to read her defense. She might have some points. On the other hand, what is wrong in being an African, Zimbabwean, Shona writer? Does being an African writer mean writing for Africa?
Anyway hear Petina in her own words:
"It's very troubling to me because writing of a place is not the same as writing for a place," she says. "If I write about Zimbabwe, it's not the same as writing for Zimbabwe or for Zimbabweans. I have to remember that as much as there are many people unhappy with Robert Mugabe's regime, there are many who are not: about 49% [of the electorate] voted for him." Read on.