Tag Archives: history

One Day I Will Write About This City in Flowery Words | By Basit Jamiu | A Memoir

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  “Forgive me if what has seemed little to you, to me is all.” Jose Saramago *** THE FIRST TIME I watched a scene in October 1, that brilliant movie by Kunle Afolayan, where one of the characters vehemently made a remark that he was the one who constructed the Lokoja road but Awolowo and […]

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Greying | by Ama Udofa | African Poetry

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  When death wrung the lights out of your eyes, dear child, Mother nature became dumb— struck by the acres of silence between us. The clouds have since turned grey and horizons now bleed. Light rays are trapped in dusty dusks And the skies weep. Our history has become history, memories greyed Into nothingness. Our […]

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Sebaldian Naipaul

The Enigma of Arrival and the Afternoon by Giorgio de Chirico

W. G. Sebald is one of my favorite novelists, so is V. S. Naipaul. It’s always nice when you see a writer you love take form in another writer you are meeting for the first time. That’s the way I felt on first reading Naipaul’s Enigma of Arrival (excerpt HERE) right after Sebald’s Rings of Saturn […]

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POW! WOW!: How Do You Imagine Africa?

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There’s been much talk about Everyday Africa, a Tumblr photo journal of Ivorians as they go about their ordinary everyday tasks. The photos in the collection are captivating even as they make the simple claim that Africa need not be thought of as exceptionally bad or good. Africa just is. When I think about it like […]

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LOST IN AFRICA: Hegel

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The first time I had a copy of Hegel’s writing on Africa in my hands and read it, I was struck by how short it was. A few pages only. Clearly, Hegel did not want to think of Africa for much longer than he needed to. One can’t really fault him. He had his eyes […]

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Painting the White in White History

White History

Get past the somewhat presumptuous and oddly ambitious airs of the title, The History of White People, and you will find a genuinely absorbing book. In the book, Neil Painter uproots whiteness from its default position as the colorless race, as the invisible pallet against which all other races are defined as colored and places […]

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The Enchantment of Beginnings

Crystal Ball

The enchantment of beginnings is as empty as the alchemist’s promise. With all the different anniversaries—birthday, independence day, wedding anniversaries, etc.— it is clear that you have a thing for beginnings. But why? Why do you always think that the question about how it all began is the most important question? You are familiar with […]

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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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How the Huza Press Prize for Fiction is Reshaping Rwandan Literature

huza prize

It was the pressing need to reclaim our narrative, which as many of you are aware was being largely told […]

PHOTOS: Chibundu Onuzo Redefines the Classic Literary Book Launch Party

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A few days ago, book lovers gathered at London’s Southbank Center for the launch of Chibundu Onuzo’s second novel, Welcome […]

Teju Cole is a Finalist for PEN America’s Richest ($75,000) Prize

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Congrats to Teju Cole for being named a finalist in what might be PEN’s most prestigious prize yet. The PEN/Jean […]

Dear Genevieve, Find Your Voice | by Pa Ikhide

dear genevieve pa ikhide

How are you? What are you up to? I am going back and reading the old classics from the African […]

PHOTOS | Abantu Book Festival: A Literary Platform for Black Writers and Readers

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On December 6th, history was made in South Africa with the inauguration of the Abantu Festival. Black writers in South Africa […]

Teju Cole, Petina Gappah, Yaa Gyasi, Helen Oyeyemi Named Finalists in PEN/America’s Literary Awards

pen america finalist 2017

In December, we announced the longlists of the 2017 PEN America literary awards. The lists of finalists are now out, […]