Tuesday, July 7, 2015

African literature: Caine Prize winner stages small 'mutiny' by sharing bounty

The Caine Prize Winner shares her prize money among her fellow shortlisted writers.

Speaking to the Monitor after the prize ceremony, Serpell praised the form. “For me the short story is a feminist form, and that’s for a very simple reason: women often don’t have time to write in more than short bursts, and short stories are more amenable to that than novels. Because it’s so contained, it’s also a form that has the potential to be extremely powerful as a form of political and social critique.”


Monday, July 6, 2015

Why are Nigerians terrified of same-sex marriage in America?

At the October 2011 Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Perth, Australia, British Prime Minister David Cameron told African leaders that if they resisted homosexuality in their countries, they risked losing aid money from the United Kingdom. Those words registered quite highly on the scale of African indignation. From Ghana to Zimbabwe to Uganda, commentators, columnists and government officials encouraged Cameron to zoom off to hell with his aid.

A good read.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Taiye Selasi: stop pigeonholing African writers

In November last year, I joined Chinelo Okparanta, author of the collection Happiness, Like Water, on a panel called “In This Way Comes Morning: New Writing of the West African Diaspora”. It was the second of a series. (Note: where the other six readings matched writers on the basis of their writing, for example Claire Vaye Watkins and Ruth Ozeki on “Weaving Fact into Fiction”, we were paired for our African-ness alone.) At the reception, Okparanta spoke of a reader who criticised her story “Runs Girl” for its depiction of a Nigerian hospital plagued by power outages. Okparanta, who lives in Maryland, spent weeks with her aunt in a Port Harcourt hospital; she explained that her description was accurate. The reader was implacable. “You’re writing poverty porn,” he insisted.