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Namwali Serpell’s The New Yorker Essay Reveals the Satire in Zambia’s “Afronaut” Legend

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Last week, The New Yorker published a heavily-researched essay by Namwali Serpell in its Culture Desk section. Titled “The Zambian ‘Afronaut’ Who Wanted To Join the Space Race,” it is a revealing profile of Edward Mukuka Nkoloso who, as Zambia gained independence from Britain in 1964 at the height of the Cold War, launched, with […]

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African Literary Digest: 14 Must-Reads from February, 2017

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Every month, we compile a list of reads from around the internet that we find illuminating. For January, we chose eight pieces. For February, we have fourteen items. They include non-fiction, fiction, essays, speeches, and even tweets. While numbered, this list is unranked. *** 1. “Since Everything Was Suddening into a Hurricane” | By Binyavanaga Wainaina | Granta | Non-fiction […]

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Jennifer Emelife’s Six Questions for the Nigerian Writers’ Awards Ceremony

Early this year, we shared a list of “The 100 Most Influential Nigerian Writers under 40” compiled by a body called the Nigerian Writers’ Awards (NWA). The title raised a good bit of controversy for readers who criticized the inclusion of songwriters and popular culture bloggers in a list celebrating writers. But if anyone was amused […]

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A Shared Sea: Tsitsi Dangarembga and Zora Neale Hurston | By Salimah Valiani

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  Tsitsi Dangarembga’s 1988 novel, Nervous Conditions, the story of Tambudzai, other girl-children, and women of Babamukuru’s family in 1970s British Rhodesia, begins this way: I was not sorry when my brother died. Nor am I apologizing for my callousness, as you may define it, my lack of feeling. For it is not that at […]

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14 Americanah Quotes on Love, Life and Relationships

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Ifemelu, the protagonist of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah, is certainly a favorite among lovers of contemporary African literature. In the course of the novel, Ifemelu has three love interests: Obinze, her high school sweetheart and first love; Curt, a wealthy, leisurely White-American that she meets through her babysitting job; and Blaine, a Black-American  academic that […]

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#Valentine2017 | 6 African Novels About Heartbreak | by Zahrah Nesbitt-Ahmed

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… because it’s not always about roses and sunshine, here’s a reading list this Valentine’s. Call it a reminder that with love, often also comes heartbreak. Thankfully, in African literature this heartbreak leads to some of the most beautiful texts. In their own way, these texts celebrate true love by showing us the risks and complications of […]

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Review of Isaac Newton Akah’s Living in ‘Gidi | by Ikhide Ikheloa

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If you go to Amazon and search for Living in ‘Gidi by Isaac Newton Akah, a slim e-book less than eighty pages in length will impishly raise her hand and ask to be taken home. Buy it and enjoy a brisk read, an entertaining and playfully eclectic piece on Lagos, well, mostly Mainland Lagos. For […]

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11 Teeny Weeny African Books to Read on the Go

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Lengthy novels are great for a rainy weekend when all you want is to curl up in bed and lose yourself in an endless heap of pages. But the fear of committing to a 500-page novel can be a little intimidating for some readers. That’s why little, purse-size books are great. They are particularly great for […]

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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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Brunel International Poetry Prize Unveils 2017 Shortlist of Ten

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Ten poets have been named on the 2017 shortlist of Brunel University’s International African Poetry Prize. The announcement was made […]

Congrats to Adichie for Winning the “One Book, One New York” Contest

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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie seems to be having a great year. She emerges winner in the hotly contested inaugural “One Book, […]

Joe Okonkwo’s Jazz Moon Is a Finalist for the 2017 LAMBDA Literary Awards

When Joe Okonkwo’s debut novel, Jazz Moon, came out last year, we covered it in an interview. Now, we are excited […]

Nigerian Author Tolulope Popoola Is Featured in Lancôme Beauty Campaign

popoola lancome campaign

Some of you may know Popoola as the author of Brittle Paper’s wedding story series titled Memoirs of a Lagos […]

Namwali Serpell’s The New Yorker Essay Reveals the Satire in Zambia’s “Afronaut” Legend

Serpell-The-Afronaut-1200

Last week, The New Yorker published a heavily-researched essay by Namwali Serpell in its Culture Desk section. Titled “The Zambian […]

Being Black | By Hanna Ali | Poetry

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  Part 1 My skin takes three sessions on the sunbed to achieve It’s hard to perfect the darkness surrounding […]