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How many of you have favorite African Writers?





Last week in class during a getting-to-know-you game in a new course I was taking on Africa, we were asked to name our favorite Writers along with our names (just so others could relate to us somewhat and possibly remember our names by relating it to the(hopefully) curious fact of our favorite authors.)
To my horror I caught myself mentioning "Milan Kundera" a Czech writer whose book " Unbearable Lightness of Being" I had fallen in love with. How on earth could a thorough-bred proud son of Ghana not have a favorite African writer? I am still ashamed!(hehe)
So the questions are :
1) How many of you actually have a habit of READING/PATRONIZING African literature?

2)How many of you have a favorite writer who is African?

3)...A favorite novel/poem/which is African?

4) Have even sampled enough African literature to even be able to answer 1),2) or 3) above?

***I will tell you why I ask after I get enough responses so please reply to the post,Medaase!***


GhanaThink Managing Executive abocco

African Writers Series...

Questions 1-4 work for me.
However, I don't think I have sampled so much African literature tho.

The African Writers Series books are my favourite collection of novels, ever.
While my mates were reading Sidney Sheldon, Sweet Valley High, Nancy Drew, Danielle Steel and the rest growing up, I was busily enjoying the Junior African Writers Series - Kwasi Koranteng (Gold Diggers and Innocent Prisoner), Yaw Ababio Boateng, John Tembo, Shirley Boje, etc.

That introduced me to the works of Chinua Achebe, Ama Ata Aidoo, Ayi Kwei Armah, Amu Djoleto and Ngugi Wa Thiongo.
I have liked these books because of the way proverbs and wise sayings are used in the prose and the way they related to Africa. Maybe the mention of African names also tickled my fancy.

Books like Sheldon's were good, but they didn't interest me as much.
That said, it's quite difficult to choose my favourite African writer, but Things Fall Apart is one of my favourites ever, so I'll have to go with Chinua Achebe.

The destiny of a nation at any given time depends on the opinions (and actions) of its young men and women.

GhanaThink Managing Executive abocco

African writers

I followed the organization of Citi fm's write_away contest. Check out list of winners here.

It seems the stories that were presented were not far away from the ones we wrote for our school magazines in high school.

My question is, are the storylines of our short stories (youth's) Westernized? Are they more influenced by the storylines of the Sidney Sheldon's/Danielle Steel's than the Achebe's and Ama Ata Aidoo's?

Please respond to Atta's original question too, am particularly interested in your opinions.

The destiny of a nation at any given time depends on the opinions (and actions) of its young men and women.


Favourite African writers

This is an extremely late response to this thread, but here it is anyway for what it is worth.

Yes! I think I have read enough African writers to make an informed statement on who my favourite authr is. It would have to be the Zimbabwean J. Nozipo Maraire and specifically her novel "Zenzele: A letter to my daughter"

Where do I start talking about the book? It is a novel written in the form of a mother writing a letter to her daughter who is about to leave Zimbabwe for the first time to go to Harvard. Zenzele's mother talks about how rich their culture is, and tries to show her daughter how important it is that she keeps her sense of where she is from even though she will be far away form home, and often find her upbringing challenged. In adition to that her mother weaves into the story explanations of some of the decisions and trade-offs she has had to make in life and why she has done that, as well as telling parts of the story of Zimbabwe's independence struggle. I highly recommend it!

Your question asked about the popularity of different kinds od novels, and why we read them. I definitely find African writers the most engaging. The works of fiction are told in the form of an engaging story, but at the same time speak to the realities of the people they describe and are set in the context of what was happening in the country in question at the time. I know so much more about the historical situations in lots of sub-saharan african countries from reading these novels.

Several of th novels I have enjoyed are about African people caught between two cultures, and some of the lessons they learn as they try to reconcile those. This is probably because having lived in a few different places, I can relate to that. I think they're really applicable to a lot of GTers who are students outside Ghana, there are lots of important lessons on picking up the positive aspects of other cultures without that ever meaning that ours is in any way inferior, and celebrating our culture as well.
Some of my other favourites are
Sefi Atta's "Everything Good Shall Come"
Simi Bedford's "Yoruba Girl Dancing"
Ama Atta Aidoo's "Changes"
Tsitsi Dangaremba's "Nervous Conditions"
Mariama Ba's "So long a letter"

Some of them are not so much about entirely different cultures, but about the frequent conflict betgween tradition and modernity in African societies.

I could go on and on..

GhanaThink Managing Executive disterics

African Writer series

Its kinda funny but Augusco forced us to buy books from the series. A new one each term. It was added to our school fees together with troll and some other stuff.

Sad to say I never read past the first page of the two that I got. I don't even remember their titles but I am pretty sure there is no sidney sheldon book I haven't read.

Now i wish ...


African literature

*smile* I, too, am guilty (or not) of reading almost all Sidney Sheldon, Danielle Steel, Stephen King etc ever written. But! In my high school we were required to read an African novel from the Macmillan Pacesetter series once every 2 weeks (not everyone did, but the nerds were right on point) so I started loving the series and met some of the authors. Hmm and to be honest I probably would not have read them outside of these requirements.

As for favorite authors, Correct me if I'm wrong, but we only have a few consistent writers, so it's very possible and likely that we all might have a favorite book by an African author, but not so much a favorite author who has published a wide variety of books to choose from. That's how it is in my case.

Fav book: Do they hear you when you cry - Fauziya Kassindja