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  Femi Osofisan
  Tanure Ojaide
  Brian Chikwava
  Hugh Hodge
  Helon Habila
  Muhammad Jalal A. Hashim
  Ogaga Ifowodo
  Edwin Gaardner
  Harry Garuba
  Toyin Adewale-Gabriel
  Zukiswa Wanner
  Ike Okonta
  Maxim Uzoatu
  George Ngwane
  Ike Anya
  E. E. Sule
  Beverley Nambozo
  Obi Nwakanma
  Matthew Dodwell
  Ikhide Ikheola
  Afam Akeh
  Femi Oyebode
  Chika Unigwe
  Linda Chase
  Mohamed Bushara
  Wale Okediran
  Niran Ok
  Remi Raji
  Ahmed Maiwada

  Laura King

  Chuma Nwokolo



Chuma Nwokolo, Monica Arac de Nyeko, Janice Golding, Chika Unigwe, and Parsalelo Kantai

Anticipating Victory?
Chuma Nwokolo, Monica Arac de Nyeko, Janice Golding, Chika Unigwe and
Parselelo Kantai at the South Bank Centre, London on the Eve of the announcement

 Uganda Gets the Caine
Ugandan writer, Monica Arac de Nyeko, was second time blessed at the 2007 Caine Prize for African Writing awards. Her story ‘Jabula Tree’, won the $20,000 (£10,000) Prize ahead of other shortlisted entries from Nigeria and South Africa. The 2007 Prize also includes a writing residency at a US university. Receiving her Prize, the winner said it had come at a “very exciting time for Ugandan fiction.” The winning story ‘Jabula Tree’ tells the story of a same gender relationship between two young girls in an African setting. The next issue of   (September, 2007) will carry an insightful interview with Monica.

In 2004, ‘Strange Fruit’, another story by Monica Arac de Nyeko was in the Caine Prize shortlist. She won the Women’s World Women in war Zones competition in 2006 with her essay ‘In the Stars’. The three Nigerians in the 2007 Caine Prize shortlist were Uwem Akpan (‘My Father’s Bedroom’), E C Osondu (Jimmy Carter’s Eyes) and Ada Udechukwu (‘Night Bus’). South African Henrietta Rose-Innes was also in the shortlist with her story ‘Bad Places’.

Adichie Gets her Orange

Chimamanda Adichie

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie finally won the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction with her second novel, Half of a Yellow Sun. Her first novel, Purple Hibiscus, had been shortlisted in 2004 for the same Prize. The Orange Prize for Fiction is a highly regarded women-only award worth £30,000 to the winner. There is also a £10,000 ‘New Writer’s Award’ won this year by Karen Connelly for her novel, The Lizard Cage. Adichie’s novel won against international opposition from some critically acclaimed work, including Kiran Desai’s The Inheritance of Loss, a Booker prize winner.

Chimamanda Adichie, from Aba, Nigeria, born in 1977, is too young to have experienced the horrors and uncertainties of the time in the late 1960s, which provide the material for her narrative on the Nigerian Civil War. But she was not unaffected by that time of crisis. No Nigerian is unmarked by the Nigerian Crisis, which is attracting interest and commentary from a new generation of Nigerian writers. Adichie’s two grandfathers were lost to the war. Half of a Yellow Sun takes its title from the emblem of the wartime Biafran government, which had attempted to secede from Nigeria because of political grievances by its people of Eastern Nigeria. Half of a Yellow Sun captures the mood and life of especially the East in that difficult period and how its challenges changed people and affected relationships. It comments on race, ethnic or national and interpersonal loyalties and the responsibilities of power.

Adichie joins a distinguished group of recent Orange Prize winners, including last year’s winner, Zadie Smith for her novel, On Beauty.

Chinua Achebe Sketch by Yomi Ola

The Father also Wins

Just a week after literary Africa began celebrations with Chimamanda Adichie, Orange Broadband Prize winner, Chinua Achebe, the writer she admires the most and considers her inspiration, was announced winner of the 2007 Man Booker International Literature Prize. Achebe is considered the father of the modern novel in Africa. The Man Booker International Prize is awarded every two years “to a living author for a body of work that has contributed to an achievement in fiction on the world stage.” This 2007 Prize awarded to Chinua Achebe is the second time the award has been given. The first time was in 2005, and the Prize went to novelist Ishmael Kadare at that time.

Chinua Achebe was born in Nigeria, 1930. His novels, children’s books and critical commentaries are considered to be primary documents in the founding and definition of the aesthetics of modern literature in Africa. He is much honoured for his work, and was winner of Commonwealth Poetry Prize in 1972 for his book of poems, Beware Soul Brother. In 1987 the novel Anthills of the Savannah (1988) was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, which local British equivalent of the Man Booker International, given only to a novel adjudged the best in a given year of UK publishing. Achebe is most famous for his first novel, Things Fall Apart (1958), considered the standard novel of modern literature in Africa. Other novels include No Longer at Ease (1960), Arrow of God (1964) and A Man of the People (1966). There is a book of short stories, Girls at War ( ) and some children’s literature, Chike and the River (1966). Among his published essays and commentaries are Hopes and Impediments (1988) and Home and Exile (2000). He has taught literature in African, European and American universities, and currently lives in Annandale, New York State, USA.

Other outstanding novelists in world literature who were contenders with Achebe for the 2007 Man Booker International Prize are Margaret Atwood, John Banville, Peter Carey, Don Delillo, Carlos Fuentes, Doris Lessing, Ian McEwan, Harry Mulisch, Alice Munro, Michael Ondaatje, Amos Oz, Phillip Roth, Salman Rushdie and Michel Tournier. The judges for the 2007 Prize were Elaine Showalter, Nadine Gordimer and Coln Toibin. Chinua Achebe received his prize of £60,000 and a trophy at a ceremony on 28 June 2007, in Christ Church, Oxford, England. He was not present in person at the occasion because of poor health.

Sembene Ousmane

(1923 – 2007)

Senegalese writer and film director, often referred to as the Father of Modern Cinema in Africa, will be remembered not just for the work he left behind but also for that indomitable spirit he showed in overcoming and surviving all the obstacles of his early life to become one of the great names of African arts and culture. From the age of fifteen, he worked as a plumber, bricklayer, and apprentice mechanic. During World War 11, he served in the French army in Europe. He returned to Senegal after the war but later went back to France, where he became a dockworker in Marseilles.

Sembene Ousmane was self-taught, his proficiency in French achieved by sheer self-application to study and also picked up from his interaction with the French. His first novel was published in 1956. He would later study film production in the then Soviet Union, developing also the socialist consciousness reflected in some of his work. La Noire de… (The Black Girl from…), won a prize at the 1967 Cannes Film Festival, and was the first feature film ever produced by an African filmmaker. He was much honoured for his work as a filmmaker, with films like Borom Sarret (1963), L’empire Songhai (1963), La Noire de… (1966), Taaw (1971), Xala (1974) and Moolaade(2004).

His first novel was the autobiographical Le Docker Noir (The Black Docker, 1956). He was also the author of God’s Bits of Wood (1960), Tribal Scar and Other Stories (1962), L’Harmattan (The Wind, 1963), The Money Order and White Genesis (1964).

Cape Town Book Fair 2007

Visitors to the recently concluded 2nd Cape Town Book Fair were nearly double the number who attended in 2006, its inaugural year, the conference organisers said. Around 49,059 visitors were recorded at the last count, up from about 26,000 in 2006. Children were not included in these figures. The book fair now claiming the honour of being ‘Africa’s largest’ also attracted more than 200 registered authors and 54 exhibitors from the US Ghana, Germany, France, China and India.
The Cape Town Book Fair is a joint venture between the Publishers’ Association of South Africa and the Frankfurter Buchmesse, official organisers of the Frankfurt Book Fair. It is also supported by the Sunday Times of South Africa. The year’s book fair, 16-19 June 2007, had more than 300 related events, including book launches, readings and literary seminars. All students registered at tertiary institutions in South Africa were allowed free passage at the fair. Among the prominent visitors to the 2007 Cape Town Book Fair was Keorapetse Kgositsile, the current National Poet of South Africa.
The book fair ended just before the beginning of the 28th Durban International Film Festival, 20th June to 1st July 2007. This is another major cultural event in South Africa. Over 200 films, including documentaries, are being featured from 77 countries.

Cape Town Book Fair (External Link)

2nd SABLE International LitFest

SABLE literary magazine travelled from its UK base to the Gambia in West Africa for is its second literature festival. Invited writers of African origin from their different locations in the world read and performed their work at the event. Famous Nigerian and British author, Buchi Emecheta (Second Class Citizen) and Malawian poet Jack Mapanje (The Last of the Sweet Bananas) headlined the list of participating authors, including Dorothea Smartt, Courtia Newland, Nathalie Handal and Binyavanga Wainana, and some Gambian writers. Reading the Ceiling, the first novel of Gambian author, Dayo Forster, was formally presented at the SABLE literature festival. The Gambian Tourist Authority supported the event. There was also discussion on Gambian literature, Black British writing and a writing workshop. Participants visited places of interest in Gambia. SABLE LitMag, founded by Kadija George, has since its first issue in 2001 featured international writers like Chinua Achebe, Marita Golden, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Caryl Philips, Dennis Brutus, Nawal el-Saadawi, Buchi Emecheta, Walter Mosley and Niyi Osundare. SABLE literary travels were added to the services of publication in 1996. There have been many of such trips, including journeys to New York and Cuba.

Sable Lit Mag (External Link)

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