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The Quiz

How good is your knowledge of Black British literature? Here are twelve questions to test your literary ranking. Click on the graphic at the end to score yourself. Less than six right? You probably need a good bookshop fast...



photo: aerial view; Kimya Varzi


 Our African-British Literature Quiz  
  1. At various times and in different lists all the following writers, except two, have been identified as Black British writers. Who are those other two? Benjamin Zephanaiah,
    Zadie Smith,
    Linton Kwesi Johnson,
    Maliker Booker,
    Hilda Doolitle,
    Grace Abioseh Nichols,
    Malorie Blackman,
    Caryl Philips,
    David Dabydeen,
    Doris Lessing or
    Jean Binta Breeze?

  2. Which two among the following female writers are not known as poets?
    Patience Agbabi,
    Andrea Levy,
    Grace Abioseh Nichols,
    Dorothea Smartt,
    Jackie Kay,
    Zoe Wicomb, or
    Myrna Loy?

  3. He won the Booker Prize with his novel, The Famished Road, and his most recent novel is Starbook. Who is this writer and what was his first published novel?

  4. One pioneering black British writer’s name is frequently mentioned in this bicentenary year of the Abolition of Slavery Act, 1807. What is his African-derived name, and what was the long title of his famous autobiographical book?

  5. She is usually located in American writing. To her own slave narrative, published in London, 1831, was added The Narrative of Asa-Asa, a Captured African. What is her name and the long title of her book?

  6. He is best known as a performance poet, and for his activism in the British performance poetry circuit and long association with Apples and Snakes, the performance poetry centre. He also edited an anthology of mostly Black British performance poets titled, The Fire People (1998). Who is he?

  7. Her novels include Second Class Citizen (1974), The Bride Price (1976), Destination Biafra (1982) and she won the New Statesman Jock Campbell Award with The Slave Girl (1977). What is her name?

  8. Please pair up the following writers with their books:
    Linton Kwesi Johnson,
    Benjamin Zephanaiah,
    Biyi Bandele,
    E. A. Markham,
    Diran Adebayo,
    Victor Headley,
    Zadie Smith,
    Fred D’Aguiar,
    James Berry,
    Amryl Johnson,
    Aminata Forna,
    David Dabydeen,
    Caryl Phillips,
    Beryl Gilroy,
    Bernadine Evaristo,
    Courttia Newland,
    Mike Phillips and
    Sam Selvon:


    Black Teacher (1975),
    The Man Who Came In From The Back Of Beyond (1991),
    Long Road to Nowhere (1976),
    Propa Propoganda (1996),
    Yardie (1992),
    The Autograph Man (2003),
    Coolie Odyssey (1988),
    Boyz ‘n’ the ’Hood (1991),
    The Lonely Londoners (1956),
    Fractured Circles (1979),
    The Emperor’s Babe (2001),
    Marking Time (1999),
    Inglan Is a Bitch (1980),
    My Once Upon A Time (2000),
    Snakeskin (2002),
    A State of Independence (1986),
    Ancestor Shoes (2006),
    Bloodlines (2000).

  9. The Caine Prize for African Writing is awarded from Britain, but has become respected as one measure of excellence in new African fiction. What work and writer won it for the first time, and in what year was that first award made?

  10. She was born in Jamaica in 1957. she gained fame as a dub poet in the 1970s performing and recording in Jamaica and Britain. She has divided her time mostly between both places. She has been joint-editor Critical Quarterly in London and her poetry collections include Ryddim Ravings (1988) and she wrote the script for the film Hallelujah Anyhow, screened in 1990. Her latest book is The Fifth Figure (2006). Who is she?

  11. Two of these UK-based publishers were never known as specialists on Black British and African writing:

    X Press,
    New Beacon Press,
    James Currey,
    Hans Zell,
    Allison & Busby,
    Zed Books,
    Pepal Tree Press,
    Bogle L’Ouverture or
    Isis Publishing?

  12. Which of the following university cities in Britain have no Centre, Department or School of African Studies?

    Milton Keynes,
    Manchester or

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