AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

BOOKS

image

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

In gratitude to Stuart Hall, a socialist intellectual who taught us to confront the political with a smile

Stuart Hall was the most important public intellectual of the past 50 years. In an age where having a TV show allegedly makes someone a public intellectual and where the status of the university you work at counts for more than what you have to say, Hall’s work seems even more urgent and his passing,

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

The #BullshitFiles: Tsunami and the Single Girl — One Woman’s Journey to Become an Aid Worker and Find Love

Every side-eye, cringe, SMH and WTF in the world has gathered for a family reunion in the title of this book. It is the perfect set-up for searing satire, which is what I hoped was on offer when...

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

Ponte City: A Photobook

Mikhael Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse’s ‘Ponte City’ will be familiar to many. The photographic project began in 2008 and won the Discovery Award at the Rencontres d’Arles festival in 2011. This month, Steidl published the project as...

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

New Photography Book Depicts the South African Social Landscape

Between 2012 and 2013, an exercise took place known as the France South Africa Season. This bilateral initiative was aimed at strengthening relations between the two countries. In 2012 South Africa hosted France for a wide range...

Sunday, January 19th, 2014

I am a homosexual, mum

Mum. I will say. Muum? I will say. It grooves so easy, a breath, a noise out of my mouth, mixed up with her breath, and she exhales. My heart gasps sharp and now my mind screams,...

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

Somali author Diriye Osman’s “Fairytales for Lost Children”

In a dark couple of weeks for LGBT rights, the Indian government’s supreme court has re-criminalised gay sex, ensuring men and women now face police harassment and potential life imprisonment, stating gay sex is “unnatural, immoral and...

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

The Book of North African Literature: Pierre Joris on Poetry and Miscegenation

A 743-page anthology of North African literature was published by the University of California last year. Ranging from documents made in sixth century Carthage to experimental prose published months after the 2011 uprisings, the Book of North African...

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

New book opens a window to a little known era of South Africa’s jazz history

A new book, Keeping Time, celebrates the public emergence of an extraordinary visual and audio archive begun by Ian Bruce Huntley in Cape Town fifty years ago. In short it challenges a long-held belief that jazz in...

Monday, October 21st, 2013

Introducing K. Sello Duiker’s novel ‘Thirteen Cents’ to US audiences

K. Sello Duiker’s short novel, Thirteen Cents is simultaneously gruesome, violent, deeply disturbing, whimsical, and beautiful. Ohio University Press has just released the post-apartheid novelist’s debut book in the US as part of its Modern African Writing...

Friday, October 11th, 2013

The “Global Novel” Debate

It has been a few weeks since the literary journal N+1’s diss of the global novel, “World Lite,” landed on our screens. The rebuttals on social media and academic blogs were swift, as was the rebuttal of the...

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

African Writers and the 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature

As the Nobel Committee for Literature announces their chosen awardee tomorrow (1pm Swedish time), the past several weeks has been littered by quite a few notable predictions, arguments, and dream-lists. Even sports betting company Ladbrokes weighed in....

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

The argument over J.M. Coetzee

Literature should generate lively public debates — all scholars worth their salt will proclaim. We believe in the importance of culture and think that intellectual tussles over significant books, and not celebrity gossip, should grace the front page...

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

“Zulu,” the film–starring Forest Whitaker and Orlando Bloom–gets lukewarm reviews. Is the novel any good?

Caryl Férey’s 2008 crime novel Zulu won the French Grand Prix prize for best crime novel. The film version, starring Forrest Whittaker and Orlando Bloom, closed the Cannes Film Festival. (Originally, there was talk Djimon Hounsou would...

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

Writing Windhoek

Literature in Windhoek takes many forms. Tucked at the intersections of Independence Avenue and Sam Nujoma Drive in the city centre, Wordweaver Publishing accomplishes perhaps its most challenging format: books. Outside the publication house’s yellow-painted bungalow-sized offices...

Monday, August 12th, 2013

When Jean-Michel Basquiat went to Africa

Jean-Michel Basquiat, the first American artist of African descent to achieve international stardom, often referenced Africa or the African diaspora in his work. Take, for example, 1983′s “The Nile” (a painting that featured nods to Egyptian hieroglyphs,...

Monday, July 29th, 2013

On African Fiction(s)

I’ll admit to a certain amount of nervousness when the debate about who is and who is not an African – and in this version a “real African” writer – begins. As a South African, it seems...

Monday, July 15th, 2013

South African Autobiographies: Between Memoir and Self-Help

AIAC’s Neelika Jayawardane’s review of South African memoirs is included in the inaugural issue of Symposium, an innovative new online magazine and blog intended to bring academic research, views, and debates onto the public floor – in...

Monday, July 15th, 2013

Nigeria’s Soldiers of Fortune

In his new book, Soldiers of Fortune, the historian and commentator Max Siollun argues that the years 1984–1993 — a period of military rule in Nigeria — ‘crafted modern Nigerian society.’ Siollun is well qualified, having published a book on...

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

Winter Reading List

In Lost in Transformation: South Africa’s Search for a New Future Since 1986, Sampie Terreblanche (emeritus professor of economics at Stellenbosch University) argues that South Africa’s ANC government is in a catch-22 from which it is unlikely to...

Friday, July 5th, 2013

3 Books on Nelson Mandela

The American public radio network, NPR, asked me to recommend 3 books its listeners could read on Nelson Mandela’s life and legacy. Of course I recommended Long Walk to Freedom and Conversations with Myself. I also included this small...

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

Summer Reading List

Everything I’ve heard and read about François-Xavier Fauvel-Aymar’s Le Rhinocéros d’Or tells me I’m going to love it… The author is a French historian who specializes in medieval Africa and sheds light on ignored parts of African histories...

Monday, July 1st, 2013

Whose “New African Writing”?

The latest issue of the Journal of Postcolonial and Commonwealth Studies takes on “African writing in the twenty-first century” and presents views on topics as varied as South African theater, queer Kenyan bloggers, digital publishing, and the Caine Prize for African...

Monday, June 17th, 2013

On New African Writing

The latest issue of the Journal of Postcolonial and Commonwealth Studies, which I guest edited with Simon Lewis, is devoted to African writing in the twenty-first century. Simon and I were excited to take on this task...

Monday, May 20th, 2013

The Master Drummer of Afrobeat

File under: excellent news. Details.

Monday, May 13th, 2013

Aristide Zolberg and African Studies

In a 2010 interview, Aristide Zolberg—the pioneer Africanist political scientist who died on April 12 at the age of 81—described his early interest in the politics of a continent in the first throes of independence: “India was...

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

African Perspectives in Comics and Animation: The Agbaje Brothers

And now for something completely different: Recently, we had the opportunity to sit down with John and Charles Agbaje, the two brothers behind The Elite Comics & Art Studio at Central City Tower. Their now concluded and...

Sunday, April 14th, 2013

Weekend Special, N°1000

With this, I am bringing back Weekend Special for all those things we don't have the time to blog about or say more than the required 140 characters on Twitter.

Friday, April 5th, 2013

Chinua Achebe: A Poet of Global Encounters

The first time I met Chinua Achebe I had just started teaching at Bard College, where I had been hired as Director of Africana Studies. I saw Chinua one evening at a campus event and nervously approached...

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

Does Zimbabwe’s new Constitution live up to women’s aspirations?

This weekend, Zimbabwe held a Constitutional referendum. And so Zimbabwe enjoyed yet another 15 seconds of international press attention. Turnout was reported as low. The public was as apathetic, uninformed, and/or disinterested. And the referendum was described...

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

Marcus Garvey’s Africa

Late last year I had the opportunity to review College of William and Mary History Professor Robert Vinson’s remarkable new book, The Americans Are Coming! Dreams of African American Liberation in Segregationist South Africa. Vinson details both...

Page 2 of 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7