Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The top 25 African writers

I thought you might like this. I'm sorry if your favorite author is not included here. Life is often harsh.

"The pace of modern African literature is faster, tone and style sexier and more defiant than the great generation of Independence writers.
Hitherto taboo subjects are explored. The African basket that was the only source of idiom and metaphor still provides, but the new writers are not afraid of going farther afield for literary fodder.
These are exciting literary times for Africa. Ironically, most of the new African stories are by writers “discovered” by Western literary prizes for African writing — the Caine Prize, the Penguin Prize and the Commonwealth Prize, among others."

Monday, September 27, 2010

Young writers start new chapter in Nigeria's literary history

This is truly exciting. Nigerian literature has really taken off. We on the ground have known this for ages, but now CNN take note, too. Beautiful.
"(CNN) -- A 19-year-old Nigerian undergraduate student has signed a two-novel deal with the British publisher Faber, making her its youngest ever woman author.
Chibundu Onuzo, a history student at King's College London, will have her first novel, "The Spider King's Daughter," published next year."

Thanks to Jeremy Weate of Naijablog.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Oil on Water by Helon Habila

Bernardine Evaristo reviews Helon Habila's recent offering, Oil on Water. She avoids critiquing Habila's art; she just states what is in the book. Here's the beginning.
"A huge chasm exists between Nigeria's multibillion dollar oil revenue and the standard of living for most Nigerians, the majority of whom are dirt-poor. When oil was discovered in the Niger delta in the late 1950s, Nigeria was on course to become the richest country in Africa. But for over 50 years the corrupt collusion between the multinational petroleum corporations and the Nigerian government has meant that profits are siphoned off into Swiss bank accounts, while the rest of the country can go hang itself."

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Trial of Robert Mugabe - Nominated

Oh, well, you heard it right. My novel, The Trial of Robert Mugabe, has been nominated for the prestigious Hurston/Wright Legacy Award.
Zora Neale Hurston: I love her lyricism.
Richard Wright: I love his hard-hitting realism. What more need I wish for my writing career?
ENJOY Friends

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The problem with Africa

Still on Naipaul Jason Cowley writes in the New Statesman:
"At its best, V S Naipaul’s Masque of Africa is marked by moments of startling clarity and insight — but the author’s view of his subject is that of an old man, fixed in his own, peculiarly jaundiced beliefs about a continent."
Great review. ENJOY!

The Naipaul in us

Ikhide Ikheloa joins the many voices that seek to understand the what and why in Naipaul's recent offering, The Masque of Africa. Very powerful reflection:
"The writer V.S. Naipaul is at it again. He has just visited Africa and written about his contempt for that continent in his new book The Masque of Africa. He travels to places like Uganda, Ghana, Nigeria, the Ivory Coast, Gabon and South Africa - to discover the "nature of African belief" according to a recent review of the book by Sameer Rahim in the UK Telegraph. Rahim gives the clear impression that this book does not improve upon the silence. It is the same tired, stereotypical garbage about Africa and civilisations of colour. You wonder if at 80 years of age, he is finally losing it. In Gabon, his legs give way and someone attempts to transport him in a broken wheelbarrow. Give me a break! Why the drama?"

It is easy to get mad at Naipaul for dismissing most African beliefs as naive. It is perhaps also easy, if not easier, to get mad at yourself for ever taking any of the Christian/Islamic beliefs seriously. Oh, humanity, idiocy is thy name!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Ellen Banda and Pius Adesanmi Wiin Penguin Prize for African Writing

After spending exciting weeks in my village, Nigeria (No light, not internet connection), I am happy to resume this blog with the exciting news of my friend, Pius Adesanmi, winning the inaugural Penguin Prize for African writing, in the Non-fiction category. The other winner, in the fiction category, is Ellen Aaku, from Zambia.

Read Sahara Reporters' report on this. ENJOY!
You might also want to check out the other report featuring Ellen: Ellen Aaku wins fiction prize at M&G Litfest.
Good luck, guys.