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I spent last Saturday at Printers Row Literary Festivala book festival sponsored by the Chicago Tribune.

The festival was celebrating its 30th year anniversary, and I was there to volunteer as an author escort.

My task consisted of picking up my assigned author at Hotel Blake, seeing them off to their venue, sitting through their presentation, and subsequently assisting with book-signing.

It was a large event, with 400 speakers participating. With that large a group, I knew I had to turn on my African-author radar. It paid off!

I met the endlessly lovely Sarah Lotz, the South African novelist based in Cape Town, who has just published what is sure to be a summer hit—a horror thriller titled The Three.

We met up for lunch and recorded an interview that I’ve begun transcribing and will post here soon.
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I also met the very funny and super-cool Chris Abani. I attended his event which centered around his new novel—Secret History of Las Vegas. {Read my review of the novel HERE}. He did the usual, meaning he stunned everyone in the audience with his sheer brilliance. After the event when the bedazzled crowed thinned out, I snuck in a selfie 🙂

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I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Semhar Gebre, an Eritrean novelist based in Chicago. She had a booth in the festival, and I noticed a lot of festival attendees showing interest in her debut novel titled, Menghedi. Check out her website HERE

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As is universally known, a festival would not be a festival without funnel cake. Here is me taking a little break from escorting authors to refuel with a deliciously unhealthy snack. Funnel cake is essentially deep-fried flour sprinkled with loads of confection sugar. So yum!

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I walked up and down aisles like this accompanied by my assigned authors.

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A street performer adding a nice folksy touch to the festival.

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Whenever and wherever I see books displayed like this, I’m never able to resist the urge to seek out an African title. There is Achebe, right next to George Martin—two men I love with the most passionate and illicit literary love 🙂

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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.

2 Responses to “PHOTOS: Meeting African Authors at Chicago’s Printers Row Book Festival” Subscribe

  1. Kimberly 2014/06/12 at 16:02 #

    This looks like so much fun–and you are beautiful! I just discovered your blog. As a librarian and fellow funnel cake lover, I am glad I did. 🙂 I could use more exposure to African titles, and this looks like a good place to hear about them.

  2. Ainehi Edoro 2014/06/13 at 08:21 #

    Thanks so much Kimberly! It’s an honor to have a librarian visit Brittle Paper. If you’re looking to get exposed to African lit, you’re in for a treat! Brittle Paper is certainly the place to be.

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