Africa has produced some of the best writing of the twentieth century from Chinua Achebe, Ayi Kwei Armah, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, and the Nobel Laureates Wole Sonyika, Nadine Gordimer, J.M Coetzee and Doris Lessing, to more recent talents including Nuruddin Farah, Ben Okri, Aminatta Forna and Brian Chikwava.
Africa 39 asks the question: who will be the next generation?
From the dazzling list of 39 writers chosen by the judges, Ellah Wakatama Alfrey has selected richly rewarding short stories, extracts from novels, fables and other work by writers from Africa south of the Sahara, or its diaspora, and created a collection of some of the most varied and exciting new work in world literature today by writers who are certainly going to be among the most celebrated of our time.
“This beautifully diverse anthology is due homage to Kampala, one of Africa’s greatest cities with a history of influence throughout the continent. Seldom has a city been celebrated in verse with such steady elegance. Subtle rhythms sweep the reader along on a poetic tour that reveals the redemptive potency of birdsong in the city or that reaffirms family ties. At the other end of the experiential scale we understand how one may lose one’s way in a contemporary Kampala of newly surfaced roads and potholes, of avenues bearing the names of heroes, of bustling markets where boda bodas zig-zag nimbly through the traffic and street vendors sell a multitude of goods from food to ladies’ shoes. Here is a Kampala that we discover for the first time and simultaneously remember with affection through the vivid poetry in this volume.” Tsitsi Dangarembga, Author of Nervous Conditions.