Without stories we would go mad. Life would lose its moorings or lose its orientations. Even in silence we are living our stories. —Ben Okri, Birds of Heaven
As more of us forego traditional bookstores for e-books, it can be harder to keep up with the latest happenings in African literature. Here are six of our favorite sites to check out African Literature.
1. African Book Covers
This Tumblr account has been called “a visual showcase for African literature” and we agree! Whoever said don’t judge a book by its cover was clearly misinformed as in this case ‘a picture is worth a thousand words.’ We only wish there were links directing us to where we could purchase the books featured!
2. 3 Bute
You don’t need to be a comic or animation geek to love 3 bute (tri-bute) which was founded by Nigerian Washington DC based journalist Bunmi Oloruntoba and literary editor Emmanuel Iduma. 3 bute “is a social, accessible and sustainable way of distributing African stories, along with much needed context, around the web.” 3 bute delivers the stories in a comic format of three pages, which readers can then dot the panels with their own public annotations. Readers can check out features such as the ‘Editors Note’ section, search authors by country, genre, and more.
3. Kwani Trust
Founded in 2003 by one of our favorite writers Binyavanga Wainana (of ‘One Day I Will Write About This Place’ and ‘How Not To Write About Africa), Kwani Trust is “a Kenyan based literary network dedicated to developing quality creative writing and committed to the growth of the creative industry through the publishing and distribution of contemporary African writing, offering training opportunities, producing literary events and establishing and maintaining global literary networks”. Some of their offline events include open mics and literature festivals. Emerging writers have the chance to be published with the Kwani Manuscript Project and get writing tips from established writers. You can also purchase the Kwani? Journals as well as audio books.
4. Africa Book Club
Oprah turned millions of people into book worms with her book club. The Africa Book Club hopes to do the same. By subscribing to ABC, readers get discounts on books of the month or win a reviewed book. ABC also encourages readers to send in reviews of African books they have recently read.
5. Africa is A Country
Africa is A Country is one of the top African sites that manages to deliver sharp, edgy and sometimes controversial content around the themes of African related news and politics. Their ‘Books’ section features articles such as ‘Wet Hot African Summer’ featuring “the best and worst romance, adventure, intrigue, and kinky fantasies Africa has to offer”. Who needs ‘50 Shades of Grey?’
Granta, which started out as a magazine in 1889 by and for Cambridge University students, may seem like an unlikely place to discover African literature. However, the site has morphed into a one-stop shop for discovering the best new African talents. Granta introduced us to Binyavanga’s “How Not To Write About Africa” and the work of other African writers like Taiye Selassie of ‘The Sex Lives of African Girls’ and more recently Ike Anya of “People Don’t Get Depressed in Nigeria.”
Which sites do you refer to for the latest in African literature?
Culled from http://afripopmag.com