About

 

Welcome to Brittle Paper!

African literature is changing.

Past generations of African writers wanted literature to address the burden of colonialism and various social ills. Fiction was seen as a cultural textbook for life. The African novelist was a teacher, as Achebe insists in his now famous 1965 essay, which would make the African reader little more than a student.

The current generation of African readers are driven more by their tastes and passions than by allegiance to some abstract political idea. They are young, open, and unconventional in their interests. They are social media savvy and dependent on mobile technology for media consumption. This has led to the popularity of shorter writings—flash fiction, online story series, and digital imprints of mass-market novellas. The obsession with realist fiction that defined older generations has given way to an avid interest in speculative writing—fantasy, science fiction— but also in experimental narratives, pulp-fiction, and other offbeat genres.

Brittle Paper is a literary project designed to adapt African literary culture to this new reality.

It is not for nothing that we were noted by Publisher’s Weekly as a Go-To Book Blog. Our objective is to help build a vibrant African literary scene. We seek out innovative approaches to book reviews and literary commentaries. We offer a thorough coverage of the African literary scene. We monitor how African authors interact with each other and with readers. We pay attention to literary spats, literary celebrity lifestyle, news about the publishing industry, the book market, and festivals. We look out for ways in which African literature intersects with local and global cultural currents. We are also committed to reinventing African literary classics for a younger, taste-driven audience. Most of all, by publishing original stories and poetry, we provide opportunity for new and aspiring writers to share their work with a lively audience.

50 years ago, we said that the reader of African fiction wanted to be saved from colonial mentality. Today, African readers simply want stories that entertain and inspire them.

Brittle Paper is a response to this new mandate.

 

I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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