Following the feted launch of the Africa39 anthology at the Port Harcourt Book Fair a week ago—a week during which a constellation of brilliant authors from across Africa and its diaspora spoke, read, and had a great time—the anthology itself is available for purchase.
The anthology has been described as “an anthology of writing from south of the Sahara [which] is too good to miss”:
Africa39 is thus carried, even held aloft, by its rising and slow-burning stars. […] As with those best-of-young-writers lists compiled by fellow talent spotters Granta and The New Yorker, Africa39’s selection comprises authors who have been picked not just on their current merit but also their future potential. They may or may not constitute the next generation of African writers whose work “promises to inspire readers for decades to come” as the editor’s note gushingly proclaims, but what is clear is that all fully deserve to be read today. (“Continental Drift”, The National)
Over the next 4 months, we’ll be reviewing the stories in the anthology and linking to interesting commentary on them from various sources. The first review will be of Kenyan Caine Prize Winner, Okwiri Oduor’s “Rag doll”, a mesmerising story which significantly deepens and complicates the conceptual territory of her vital (and startling) novella, “The Dream Chasers”: ideas of motherhood, sisterhood, sanity, intimacy, and survival; an at times bewildering story which, this reader suggests, “far from memorialising childhood as a monument, clearly positions it as a basis that does not exist.” (Probyn, 1996)
If you or your book club haven’t yet purchased the anthology, do so now!