Coming across African literature in downtown Kampala is like looking for a drop of water in the Sahara. You don’t believe me? Take a walk in town and I guarantee you, Western titles will dominate their African counterparts 10 to 1.
So you can imagine my glee at finding dozens of hard-to-find titles by African writers all in one place! And apparently I wasn’t the only one eager to buy these books and also meet the authors, a good number of whom made the trip to attend the Writivism Festival.
For those who were unable to attend so far, but would like to, you can thank me later. I have curated the list of books on sale and fast running out, divided between bestsellers so far, and the rest of the catalogue.
Woman Next Door by Yewande Omotoso
Hortensia James and Marion Agostino are neighbours. One is black, one white. Both are successful women with impressive careers. Both have recently been widowed. And both are sworn enemies, sharing hedge and hostility which they prune with a zeal that belies the fact that they are both over eighty. But one day an unforeseen event forces the women together. And gradually the bickering and sniping softens into lively debate, and from there into memories shared. But could these sparks of connection ever transform into friendship? Or is it too late to expect these two to change?
In the footsteps of Mr. Kurtz by Michela Wrong
He was known as “the Leopard,” and for the thirty-two years of his reign Mobutu Sese Seko, president of Zaire, showed all the cunning of his namesake, seducing Western powers, buying up the opposition, and dominating his people with a devastating combination of brutality and charm. While the population was pauperized, he plundered the country’s copper and diamond resources, downing pink champagne in his jungle palace like some modern-day reincarnation of Joseph Conrad’s crazed station manager.
It’s Our Turn to Eat by Michela Wrong
I didn’t Do it for You by Michela Wrong
Scarred by decades of conflict and occupation, the craggy African nation of Eritrea has weathered the world’s longest-running guerrilla war. The dogged determination that secured victory against Ethiopia, its giant neighbor, is woven into the national psyche, the product of cynical foreign interventions. Fascist Italy wanted Eritrea as the springboard for a new, racially pure Roman empire; Britain sold off its industry for scrap; the United States needed a base for its state-of-the-art spy station; and the Soviet Union used it as a pawn in a proxy war. In I Didn’t Do It for You, Michela Wrong reveals the breathtaking abuses this tiny nation has suffered and, with a sharp eye for detail and a taste for the incongruous, tells the story of colonialism itself and how international power politics can play havoc with a country’s destiny.
How to Spell Naija in 100 short stories by Chuma Nwokolo
This second volume of How to Spell Naija in 100 Short Stories contains the final 50 stories and raises the high bar set by the first. These tales boldly range over Nigeriania, with kidnappers, houseboys, bishops and suicide bombers wreaking domestic and hilarious havoc. The tales are set in the future and in the present, in the Diaspora, in urban and small-town Nigeria, and the author’s fictional Waterside community. Once again, Nwokolo’s sure-handed humour and earthy style brings an amazing and unforgettable cast of characters to life.
Gambit: Newer African Writing
Fiction. African & African American Studies. Anthology. Hybrid Genre. GAMBIT: NEWER AFRICAN WRITING is a unique collection of nine interviews and original short stories by emerging writers from across Africa. The stories in this anthology reflect the nuances that arise from living in a post-postcolonial Africa, where stereotypes are crumbling and writers are willing to tackle themes that are more social than political. Unlike other anthologies of African writing, GAMBIT’s contributors are mostly based in their home countries, putting them closer to the themes they lyrically confront. The interviews provide insight into the writers’ inspirations, fears, hopes, and craft. The short stories reveal a range of experiences that are alive with grace, resilience, and humor. GAMBIT is one way to rediscover today’s writing from the African continent. Contributors include: Abdul Adan (Somalia), Ayobami Adebayo (Nigeria), Dami Ajayi (Nigeria), Richard Ali (Nigeria), Abubakar Adam Ibrahim (Nigeria), Dango Mkandawire (Malawi), Donald Molosi (Botswana), Novuyo Rosa Tshuma (Zimbabwe), Suzanne Ushie (Nigeria)
The Ghosts of 1894 by Oduor Jagero
Supplement to the Chimurenga Chronic
The latest issue of Chimurenga’s pan-African gazette, the Chronic, explores the tensions between reform and revolution, and decolonisation and the neoliberal order in the academy, through the lens of history and via the alternate education paradigms based in indigenous knowledge systems, and also arising from South Africa’s radical anti-apartheid struggle. Football is the focus of the books supplement, Chronic Books. Not so much the game itself as the language produced in, around and about it. How football is spoken, written and narratively performed – from the informal commentary of bar talk, blogs, social media and stadium banter to more formal inquiries in mainstream media. This edition of the Chronic also features a photonovella titled “Jabu Comes to Joburg”, a classic South African tale re-imagined by Achal Prabhala.
Sweet Medicine by Panashe Chigumadzi
Other Books on sale at the Writivism Festival 2016
100 Days by Juliane Okot p’Bitek
Story of Maha by Sumayya Lee
Maha Ever After by Sumayya Lee
Roses for Betty Writivism 2015 Anthology
Fire in the Night Writivism 2014 Anthology
Picture Frames Writivism 2013 Anthology
Tropical Fish by Doreen Baingana
The Headline that Morning and other Poems by Peter Kagayi
A Killing in the Sun by Dilman Dila
The Triangle by Nakisanze Segawa
A Death Retold in Truth and Rumour: Kenya, Britain and the Julie Ward Murder by Grace A. Musila
We are all Blue by Donald Molosi
A Poetic Duet by Jane Okot p’Bitek
Kizza Besigye and Uganda’s Unfinished Revolution by Daniel Kalinaki
Poetry Portion series edited and published by Duduzile Zamantunga Mabaso
The Ghost of Sani Abacha by Chuma Nwokolo
Duc in Altum (Ebifananyi 6) compiled by Andrea Stultiens
A Nation in Labour by Harriet Anena