AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

The New Black Atlantic?
Neelika Jayawardane | January 30th, 2011

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The writer EC Osondu’s first book, Voice of America, was published this month. He won the 2009 Caine prize for African Writing, and currently teaches at Providence College in Rhode Island. He wrote about his top 10 list of immigrant tales for The Guardian. For him, “… in-betweenness–that state of neither fish nor fowl, mortal nor spirit–is also fascinating, and is of course the existential state of the immigrant. He is not fully of this place yet he is no longer of that.” As for the list, it includes “My Odyssey: An autobiography” by Nnamdi Azikiwe, who was Nigeria’s first post-independence president (“… It was a shock to me therefore on coming to Zik’s autobiography to discover that he had been quite despondent and had come close to suicide in his student days in America”), “On Black Sisters’ Street” by Chika Unigwe, “Harare North” by Brian Chikwava (“… this novel tears away the veil and allows us see immigrant/exile life in its nakedness”), “The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears by Dinaw Mengetsu, and “Becoming Abigail” by Chris Abani.

Read Osondu’s full list here.

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Neelika Jayawardane

Sharp-tongued literature professor. Twitter: @sugarintheplum

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