Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Penguin African Writers Series

Penguin recently announced the launch of the Penguin African Writers Series, which will publish "the very best books from the iconic Heinemann African Writers Series ... as well as new books from fresh African voices." Chinua Achebe (Things Fall Apart) will be Editorial Adviser for the new series, and his own collection Girls at War and Other Stories will be one of six inaugural books in the series. Other inaugural titles include Weep Not, Child by Kenyan Ngugi wa Thiong'o, Black Sunlight by Zimbabwean Dambudzo Marechera, Guyana-born Karen King-Aribisala's Hangman's Game, Neighbours: The Story of Murder by Mozambican Lilia Momple and Cote d'Ivoirian Veronique Tadjo's As the Crow Flies. Achebe comments: "The last 500 years of European contact with Africa produced a body of literature that presented Africa in a very bad light and now the time has come for Africans to tell their own stories."


Erin Skelly Cameron said...

I think this is really great. Just last night, one of my classmates was telling me about some African writers he read for another class, and how different their prose is from American writing, because the African "literary" tradision is so incredibly different. I'm really excited to read some of these writers.

rjnagle said...

Don't laugh, but I have been collecting novels from the African Writers Series for the last 15 years. I think I own 20-30 volumes, and I think I have read a grand total of 1 book.

Update: I think I have read 2 books. I read Sembene Ousmane's God's bit of wood in 1992 or 3. (For about 18 months in the early 90s, I read classics, and then wrote short reviews of them...still not online (well, except for this . Found some amazing stuff though.

I'm sure several of the AWS books I already own are great. I just hope that no Africans have written any novels in the last decade? (DO you have any idea?)

For Erin: I agree. the limited African literature I've read have much more social structures and overt politicizing.