Book Reviews

“…the future literary direction is…about the receded as it is about what is at hand”: A Review of The Gods Who Send Us Gifts: An Anthology of African Short Stories | by Nancy Henaku

Last year (2017) was the fifty-fifth anniversary of the historic African Writers Conference held in June, 1962 at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. The conference which, as Obiajunwa Wali (1963: 14) rightly suggests “was faced with the fundamental question of defining African literature”, brought together many of the writers who will go on to influence […]

La fabrique des classiques africains. Écrivains d’Afrique subsaharienne francophone | Une critique d’Ewout Decoorne

En 2007, Le Monde des livres publiait un manifeste intitulé « Pour une littérature-monde en français ». Une quarantaine d’auteurs célèbres y réclamait de mettre fin à l’idée de la francophonie comme espace littéraire français hors de la France. Les écrivains voulaient « réagir contre la définition d’une littérature francophone dont le centre, la littérature […]

Thirsting for Sunlight: Testing for Light, Tasting of Myth | A Review by Isidore Diala

Christopher Okigbo 1930-67: Thirsting for Sunlight. By Obi Nwakanma. Suffolk, UK: James Currey, 2017. pp xxviii+276. £17.99, paperback. (ISBN 978-1-84701-179-4) Christopher Okigbo’s generally acknowledged charm, intrepid exploits in sports, breathless adventures, penchant for imaginative self-portraits, gallantry as well as his enchanting, if often misunderstood, poetry rendered him larger than life in the imagination of his […]

A Companion to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie | A Review by Sola Adeyemi

Ernest N. Emenyonu (ed.). A Companion to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. England: James Currey, 2017. Cloth. ISBN: 978-1-84701-162-6 (Africa only paperback ISBN: 978-1-84701-163-3). pp. 300+xii. £25.00 hardback Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is undoubtedly one of the most engaging literary figures to have burst onto the world’s literary landscape in recent times. Her writing has introduced new motifs […]

An Interview with Abubakar Adam Ibrahim | by Elizabeth Olaoye

Questions for the author of Season of Crimson Blossoms, a book that blew my mind. EO: Recently in Nigeria, in a dramatic turn of events, an Igbo grandmother was caught having sex with a much younger man shortly after her husband’s death. The community shamed her by parading her on the street and banishing her […]

The Day Ends Like Any Day | A Review by Sola Adeyemi

Timothy Ogene, The Day Ends Like Any Day. Berkshire, England: Holland House, 2017, pp.264. ISBN: 978-1-910688-29-8 (paperback); 978-1-910688-30-4 (kindle) The Novel that Ends like None Else There is no sun today, save the finch’s yellow breast, and the world seems faultless in spite of it. Across the sound, a continuous ectoplasm of gray, a ferry […]

“African literature is a question…an open question that invites…” | A Review of “The African Literary Hustle” (New Orleans Review, Issue 43, 2017) by Nancy Henaku

Last summer, the New Orleans Review, a journal of contemporary literature and culture housed in the Department of English at Loyola University, published their recent issue titled “The African Literary Hustle.” The journal, which has featured several writers including Pablo Neruda, Joyce Carol Oates and Robert Olen Butler, is entering its fiftieth year in 2018 […]

Stanley Gazemba on mermaids and how to prevent us from turning into robots | An interview by Elke Seghers

I interviewed the Kenyan author Stanley Gazemba on the occasion of his 2002 novel The Stone Hills of Maragoli being republished in the U.S. under the title Forbidden Fruit (June 2017). In April 2017, we had a conversation about his work and the Kenyan literary landscape at the Go Down Arts Centre in Nairobi, where […]

Writing beyond borders: Kwani Trust as an ambitious African LINGO | An article by Ewout Decoorne

Hidden behind a leafy courtyard off Nairobi’s Riverside Drive, Kwani Trust houses one of Kenya’s (and perhaps Africa’s) most fascinating literary contributions of the last decades. The small, cosy shop can hardly reveal the magnitude of this movement, which since its inception in 2003 has adopted an increasingly influential voice within Africa’s intellectual and cultural […]

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Birth of a Dream Weaver. A Writer’s Awakening | A Review by Inge Brinkman

Colonialism and nationalism are big words. So big that they may become meaningless abstractions. Through telling about his personal experiences with these overarching concepts, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o shows what possible meanings they can acquire. In the trilogy of memoirs he wrote – Dreams in a Time of War, In the House of the Interpreter and […]