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Selasie and Cole

Teju Cole (Author of Open City) and Taiye Selasi (Ghana Must Go)

I was looking through Taiye Selasi’s Twitter photos and found this one of her and Teju Cole. I couldn’t find out anything about where the picture was taken. The accompanying tweet simply says: “The incomparable Mister Cole.” It’s a lovely picture. Selasi’s smile has a touch of giddiness that a sister might have at meeting a brother. Cole has on his usual suave and collected demeanor, but you can tell he’s just as delighted to be by Selasi’s side.

The image got me thinking about African writers in each other’s company. Reading their work, it’s hard to tell if African writers ever take the load off and just relax. The image of the serious African writer is familiar. So I put together a collection of photos of African writers hanging out, acting silly, or having fun.

Thereis so much about writing that is about friendship and community, as you can see in these photos.

Shoneyin and Aidoo

Lola Shoneyin (Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives) and Ama Ata Aidoo (Our Sister Killjoy)

Selasie and Binyavanga

Wainaina Binyavanga (One Day I Will Write About This Place) and Taiye Selasi

Shoneyin and Mabanckou 2

Alain Mabanckou (Le Verre Casse) and Lola Shoneyin

Okparanta, Manyika, Bulawayo

Chinelo Okparanta (Happiness Like Water), Sarah Ladipo Manyika (In Dependence), and Noviolet Bulawayo (We Need New Names)

Farafina Workshop 2013 12

Wainaina Binyavanga and Chimamanda Adichie (Americanah)

Ngugi and son 2

Father and Son — Ngugi wa Thiong’o (Wizard of the Crow) and Mukoma wa Ngugi (Black Star Nairobi)

Chika and Adichie

Chika Unigwe (Night Dancer) and Chimamanda Adichie

Teju and Soyinka

Wole Soyinka, Siddhartha Mitter, and Teju Cole

ake festival victor ehikhamenor 16

Tope Folarin (“Miracle”) and Christie Watson (Tiny Sunbirds)

Chibundu and Mabanckou

Alain Mabanckou and Chibundu Onuzo (Spider King’s Daughter)

ake festival victor ehikhamenor 45

Victor Ehikhamenor (Excuse Me!) and Wana Udobang (Dirty Laundry)

Ikhide Soyinka

Ikhide Ikheloa and Wole Soyinka

 

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Ainehi Edoro is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she teaches African literature. She received her doctorate at Duke University. She is the founder and editor of Brittle Paper and series editor of Ohio University Press’s Modern African Writer’s imprint.

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