The peer-reviewed JENdA: A Journal of Culture and African Women Studies has just published Issue 30 on African and African Diasporan Writers. This issue on African Literature in JENdA is an exploration that features conversations with writers discussing their work and inspiration. This issue is for anyone. For those teaching literature, the issue is a great asset, and it comes with the added benefit that these cross and trans-continental dialogues ask us to consider that local and global can and does occupy the same space.
Editorial: Words In Sound, Words In Motion, and Words In Power: New African Literature (free to read)
It seems rather unusual that the editorial of this special-issue on African literature should start with such a profound statement about writing, self, and breakthrough. The formidable Nigerian playwright, Tess Onwueme reminds us that writing is a voice, and it is one that shatters silence and all its prevailing spectrum. Between the lines and the haze that often masks our spontaneous actions, the struggle for self is one that is experienced at various stages in life. But what does this have to do with writing, and more importantly, inspiration?
Interview with Tess Onwueme
Tess is a multiple award-winning author and eminent University Professor of Global Letters at the University of Wisconsin, USA. Author of The Desert Encroaches, Tell It To Women, Shakara: Dance-Hall Queen, Then She Said it, The Missing Face, and The Reign of Wazobia. In October 2014, she received the rare commendation with Declaration of a Proclamation in her honor by members of the Wisconsin State Senate/Legislature and the University of Wisconsin to mark the Tess Onwueme Archival Collection at the University of Wisconsin.
Interview with Tsitsi Dangaremba
Author of the famed Nervous Conditions, received critical acclaim and won the Commonwealth Writers Prize. The sequel to this 1989 smash hit, a part of the trilogy was Book of Not. Tsitsi directed the ground-breaking short film Mother's Day. She founded the International Images Film Festival for Women (IIFF) in Harare, and Nyerai Films, her production house.
Interview with Nawal El Saadawi
Nawal is world renowned novelist, psychiatrist, and activist. She is the author of more than 50 books of fiction and non-fiction including Woman at Point Zero, The Fall of the Imam, Ganat and the Devil, Love in the Kingdom of Oil, Zeina, and It Is Blood. She writes in Arabic.
Interview with Edwidge Danticat
Author of Breath, Eyes, Memory (Oprah Book Club Selection), Krik? Krak!, The Farming of Bones, and The Dew Breaker, and her memoir, Brother, I'm Dying, 2008 winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award. Edwidge is 2009 MacArthur Fellow.
Interview with Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor
Author of DUST, Yvonne won the 2003 Caine Prize for African Writing. Yvonne's novel was shortlisted for the Folio Prize and the FT/Oppenheimer Emerging Voices award. She was a recipient of Chevening Scholarship and an Iowa Writer's Fellowship.
Interview with Namwali Serpell
Namwali won the 2015 Caine Prize. Her short story "Muzungu" was selected for the Best American Short Stories 2009. Namwali is Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of California, Berkeley. Her first work of literary criticism is Seven Modes of Uncertainty.
Interview with Chika Unigwe
Author of On Black Sisters Street and Night Dancer. She won the 2012 Nigeria Prize for Literature, Africa's largest literary prize.
Interview with Sefi Atta
Author of Everything Good Will Come, Swallow, News from Home, and A Bit of Difference. Sefi was awarded the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa, and in 2009 the Noma Award for Publishing in Africa.
Interview with Ngugi Wa Thiong'o
Ngũgĩ is Distinguished Professor of the Departments of Comparative Literature and English at the University of California, Irvine. A novelist and theorist of post-colonial literature, politics and cultures, he is the author of Caitani Mutharabaini, A Grain of Wheat, Weep Not Child, Decolonising the Mind, and Wizard of the Crow.
JENdA is available by subscription.