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What It Means to Feel Adrift | By Arinze Ifeakandu | Memoir

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1. Your friends are suddenly too far away, your family even farther. You feel a loneliness that gnaws, a disconnection from the things you used to love terribly, hopelessly. Reading is no longer magical, and you wonder if there was ever a time when you had read everything you could find—Daniel Dafoe, John Grisham, Wole […]

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Bessie Head’s Letters: the Pain, the Beauty, the Humor

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“Forgive the vanity, but few people equal my letter-writing ability!!” writes Bessie Head on March 14, 197o to her friend Randolphe Vigne. Head is not exaggerating. For the last few months, I have been reading many of her letters, and I find them to be such beautiful things. They are raw, honest, and loud, but there […]

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A Letter of Secrets | By Nwanne Agwu | Fiction

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On the streets of Lagos, a boy searches for himself in mirrors. — Romeo Oriogun. Saturday, 01 April, 2017 Dear Nkali,   I still don’t know why I’ve always not wanted to, not felt like telling you this. And as I look at the wall before me, I see that I have forgotten much of […]

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Wind | By Ayoola Goodness | Poetry

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because of you i have learnt how to make rainbows with my eyes. my eyes tossing the sun. but they do not last. the sun burns my eyes. i hear your name in the wind. i want to pick it. i pick your name. like magic. cold. it slips through the spaces between my fingers. […]

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Roses and War | By Jonathan Otamere Endurance | Poetry

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Prayers are symphonies of lamentation That begin from my mother’s lips, Like a bird beginning a day’s death, With a humming song of woes. She says she fears for the devils Whose tongues carry the blood Of homeless lads on their lips, Like an eagle clawing a chick. Every sound her palms clasp Carry the […]

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Fear Woman | By Immanuel James Ibe-Anyanwu | Fiction

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  Irritated by our presence, the guard swatted us off the entrance gate with his baton, his face ugly with anger. A certain canteen beside the black gate, Makeshift, first gave us accommodation before its owner evicted us. Mama-Put, behind five large coolers placed on a table, stood dishing out nutrition: white spaghetti, whiter rice, […]

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Chinua Achebe and the Risky Business of Being an Ancestor

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Both Nadine Gordimer and Simon Gikandi have said that the publication of Things Fall Apart marks the invention of the African novel. True, there had been novels in Africa long before Chinua Achebe came on the scene. But the publication of Things Fall Apart is the event that inaugurated the African novel as a global literary project.  It […]

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Lantern Heads | By Wanjala Njalale | Poetry

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The sea bent to a certain wind. The fishermen said there were souls Buried beneath the water, Sobbing and stretching out their hands to murder. There was a way around all these. Music soothed them. It bought time. The fishermen offered sacrifices; Sometimes human sacrifices To keep the sea gods calm: A bunch of mad […]

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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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“The Great Ugandan Novel” | Aaron Bady Hails Jennifer Makumbi’s Kintu

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Since its 2014 publication, Jennifer Makumbi’s Kintu has raced its way to hit status. Divided into six parts, the novel “reimagines […]

Judges Unveiled for the Black Letter Media Short Story Competition

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Black Letter Media has released the three-person list of judges for the 2017 edition of its short story competition. The judges […]

A Mosaic of Torn Places | Read the New Diverse Anthology of Young Nigerian Writers

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A Mosaic of Torn Places, the latest anthology of young writers out of Nigeria, collects ten stories of poignant diversity. […]

A Narrative of Home and Longing | Review of Inua Ellams’ #Afterhours | By Billie McTernan

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In his new anthology-cum-diary-cum-memoir, #Afterhours, Nigerian poet Inua Ellams features a collection of poems written in-response to a well-considered selection […]

The New Things Fall Apart Cover is the Best Thing You’ll See Today

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Things Fall Apart will be 60 next year. And Penguin USA is pulling all the stops to put together a […]

Akwaeke Emezi Awarded the 2017 Commonwealth Short Story Prize for Africa Region

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Akwaeke Emezi has been awarded the 2017 Commonwealth Short Story Prize (Africa Region) for her entry, “Who Is Like God?” […]