• Celebrating Dinaw Mengestu

    by Tasha Keeble on Saturday, July 1, 2017 12:18 pm

    Ethiopian-born author Dinaw Mengestu speaks with what might be perfect middle-class, American inflection. He quips; doesn’t pause a bit when speaking. He’s not noticeably translating before responding. He’s nimble and poised to answer questions from interviewers. And following his novel debut, The Beautiful Things That…

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  • Celebrating Teju Cole

    by Tasha Keeble on Wednesday, June 28, 2017 11:09 am

    Yemi Onofuwa writes under the nom de plume, Teju Cole. And Teju Cole writes with a broad imagination, stoked by his love for the arts, literature and photography. He’s written one novella and one novel and is often regarded for his affinity for integrating varied…

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  • Celebrating Amma Darko

    by Tasha Keeble on Tuesday, June 27, 2017 10:11 am

    Ghanian novelist Amma Darko divides her time between Africa and Europe. She also rejects classification explaining in a Modern Ghana interview, I am first and foremost a storyteller who feels inspired to create stories out of pertinent issues. As an African woman also, I feel…

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  • Celebrating Aimé Césaire

    by Catherine Philippon on Thursday, June 22, 2017 6:00 am

    Born in the northern part of Martinique on June 26, 1913, Aimé Césaire is the most influential writer of francophone Caribbean literature. He was familiar with the former site of the town of Saint-Pierre, “the Paris of the Caribbean,” which had been totally destroyed by…

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  • Celebrating Margaret Ogola

    by Tasha Keeble on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 8:05 am

    Margaret Ogola was the Kenyan author of the novel The River and the Source, its sequel, I Swear by Apollo, and her third, Place of Destiny. Writers are told to draw their stories from real life and Place of Destiny does exactly that. It chronicles…

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  • Celebrating Niq Mhlongo

    by Tasha Keeble on Tuesday, June 20, 2017 11:43 am

    In a piece published with the 2004 South African Online Writers’ Conference, Niq Mhlongo reflects on his generation’s charge: The end of Apartheid gave rise to this new, youthful and energetic generation that expresses itself through kwaito, Afro-pop and rap music as well as through…

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  • Celebrating Okot p’Bitek

    by Tasha Keeble on Thursday, June 15, 2017 6:22 am

    In 2009, Nii Ayikwei Parkes wrote an article on the beginnings of modern African literature, “No Individual Fathered African Literature”. In it, he cites Chinua Achebe rejecting the notion that he fathered African literature: “There were many of us, many of us.” Parkes goes on…

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  • Bessie Head’s When Rain Clouds Gather

    by Tasha Keeble on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 11:03 am

    African fiction deserves readers who see its value as a literary object versus readers who are drawn to it because of some imagined anthropological value. We have to stop telling the single story about African stories. Ainehi Edoro (2016) Writing for The Guardian in partnership…

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  • Celebrating Dambudzo Marechera

    by Tasha Keeble on Tuesday, June 13, 2017 10:58 am

    His life, reading too much like a picaresque novel, could not have lasted into old age. Dambudzo Marechera was talented and revolutionary anarchist in his content and style. He didn’t write with broad strokes of sweeping landscapes and social movements; instead, he wrote reflexively, personally…

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  • Coming Soon – When Rain Clouds Gather

    by AfricanBookPortals on Saturday, June 10, 2017 9:51 am

    AfricanBookPortals.com next review is Bessie Head’s When Rain Clouds Gather. Tasha Keeble brings a poignant perspective to this historical tale. Enjoy our other posts at 5|7, the blog of AfricanBookPortals.com.   Illustration by Paul Antoniades.

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  • Eight by Eight –

    by AfricanBookPortals on Wednesday, June 7, 2017 12:02 pm

    Many Authors’ birthdays to celebrate in June, eight authors from eight countries: Dambudzo Marechera, from Zimbabwe, on June 4, Otok p’Bitek, from Uganda, on June 7, Niq Mholongo, from South Africa, on June 10, Margaret Ogola, from Kenya, on June 12, Aimé Césaire, from Martinique, and…

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  • Celebrating Uwem Akpan

    by Tasha Keeble on Saturday, June 3, 2017 6:11 am

    Uwem Akpan is a Nigerian writer. A 2010 profile of Akpan describes him as “the perfect storyline: Jesuit priest from Nigeria becomes a best-selling, Oprah-chosen author.” Akpan claims to have been inspired “by the people who sit around [his] village to share palm wine after…

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  • Celebrating Ogaga Ifowodo

    by Tasha Keeble on Thursday, June 1, 2017 10:20 am

    In a September 2014 SaharaTV interview, Ogaga Ifowodo declares his primary reason for returning home to Nigeria is to mount a campaign to be the nominee for the All Progressive Party in the House of Representatives in his home, Delta State. “In America, even if…

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  • Celebrating Mary Watson

    by Tasha Keeble on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 12:54 pm

    In 2006, South African writer, Mary Watson won the prestigious Caine Prize with her short story “Jungfrau,” taken from her 2004 collection, Moss, published by Kwela. Of her work, Andre Brink said, “Our literature will be the richer for accommodating a voice of this caliber,…

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  • Celebrating Grace Ogot

    by Tasha Keeble on Tuesday, May 9, 2017 10:50 am

    Most likely an indication of the dearth of early (colonial or otherwise) African women’s publications, unless one’s looking for her, Grace Ogot is not easily found. She may be happened upon, as in this case. But Ogot is one of the two African women co-credited with…

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  • Remembering Buchi Emecheta

    by Tasha Keeble on Friday, April 28, 2017 10:58 am

    The name Buchi Emecheta evokes ideas of independence and de-colonization throughout the world, especially as it pertains to African women. Emecheta is the author of over 20 books, including her most well-known, Second-Class Citizen (1974), The Bride Price (1977), and The Joys of Motherhood (1979).…

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  • Celebrating Ola Rotimi

    by Tasha Keeble on Thursday, April 27, 2017 12:50 pm

    As soon as I heard Wole Soyinka describe the depth of Yoruba storytelling history, I wanted more! I asked some friends if they could recommend any pre-independence Yoruba authors to whom we should pay closer attention. I got an immediate response from my old college…

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  • A New Story

    by Linda Colman on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 11:04 am

    OK folks. We have to change the textbooks. Editors. Are you listening? This means you. Now? Right this minute? [Laughter] Basically, yes. Another mandate from public education? Not hardly. No, this is more like a mandate from God. [Laughter] [Aside] Except He’s not kidding around.…

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  • What’s So Great about African Civilization or Weak Signals from a “Dark” Continent and Why We Failed to Read Them

    by Linda Colman on Tuesday, April 25, 2017 11:44 am

    Today we are just beginning to learn what’s so great about African Civilization. Only relatively recently have accounts of human origins in Africa and early African civilization appeared in the chronicles of human development. Findings made over the past 30 years in paleoanthropology, archeology and…

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  • Chinua Achebe

    by Tasha Keeble on Tuesday, November 15, 2016 2:00 pm

    Whenever a discussion turns to modern African writing, it is almost always assumed that references will begin with Nigeria’s Chinua Achebe, otherwise known as the patriarch of modern African literature. The modern African literary era began with the publication of Things Fall Apart in 1958.…

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  • Teju Cole’s Known and Strange Things

    by Tasha Keeble on Tuesday, November 15, 2016 1:00 pm

    Teju Cole displays his prowess as an artist of exquisite talent and range in this newly released collection of essays, Known and Strange Things. Cole, author of two previously acclaimed novels, Every Day Is for the Thief (2007), and Open City (2011), acts as photographer/writer/historian,…

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  • Welcoming Yaa Gyasi and Homegoing

    by Tasha Keeble on Tuesday, November 15, 2016 12:00 pm

    Yaa Gyasi is 26 years old and has produced the year’s most anticipated and highly acclaimed novel, Homegoing (Knopf). In interview after interview, she speaks with an assuredness rare for one so young. She speaks without animation; she projects a steadiness, a clarity that belies…

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  • Amos Tutuola

    by Tasha Keeble on Tuesday, November 15, 2016 11:00 am

    Amos Tutuola was the first African to be published in the English language outside of Africa. With his first novel, The Palm Wine Drinkard, Tutuola established himself internationally as an important writer rooted in the African tradition. His emergence did not, however, come without controversy…

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  • Efua Sutherland

    by Tasha Keeble on Tuesday, November 15, 2016 10:00 am

    Some authors never receive enough credit for their contributions to the world of letters. They invest their time in building an aesthetic, promoting a vision, and teaching others to carry forward with what they believe is true. Efua Sutherland is one such author. Today, Ghanaian…

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