Winner! (4)

I started Brittle Paper 6 years ago as a sanctuary from the beautiful but backbreaking rigor of scholarly life.

I had just finished my first year as a doctoral student at Duke University. It had been a fun year. I loved writing. I loved research work. I loved learning from some the best minds in the world. I loved being immersed in a sea of texts and ideas. Receiving training to become a literary scholar had been a life-long dream, and it was deeply satisfying to actually live the dream.

But there were moments when I felt exhausted and claustrophobic. I longed for a place to breathe, to think freely—outside traditional academic spaces. I wanted to play with ideas. I needed a different kind of intellectual experience—one that was not so much about taking in knowledge but building a space for engaging a wider community of readers and thinkers. That is how Brittle Paper came into being—on August 1, 2010.

What started out as a space for one literature student’s intellectual rant has become a popular online platform for African literature. The journey has been great and so much good has come out of it. A few months ago, Brittle Paper joined The Guardian book network. In a month or so, I will launch a book-publishing arm with the release of Holy Sex by Obinna Udenwe. Between reviews by well-known critics in the African literary community and exclusive interviews conducted with shortlistees, Brittle Paper provided a vibrant space for conversations and debates about the 2016 Caine Prize for African Writing. From media coverage of literary events to book reviews that inspire readers, Brittle Paper chronicles the activities, debates, and publications that attract a global community of readers to African literature.

Apart from recording these milestones, this year is special for another reason. As many of you know, I completed by doctoral studies a few months ago. If you’ve been a fan of the blog long enough, you’d have heard me talk about the joys and pains of writing a doctoral thesis. Some of you have sent me encouraging messages over the years. My conversations with you have helped me work through difficult moments in my writing. I want to take this opportunity to dedicate my PhD to the Brittle Paper community.  I hope you feel a shared sense of achievement with me because, in some sense, we did it together.

Brittle Paper began 6 years ago because of my need for creative freedom, but it has since grown into something so much bigger than myself. Today, it is the community of readers that sustain it. Dear Brittlers, you all are the best kind of readers anyone could ever dream of, and, for that, I thank you. I could burn the midnight oil all I wanted, but if you did not share my belief in the idea of African literature and the urgency of changing how it is perceived globally, Brittle Paper would not be here today. So thank you for being the engaging, vibrant, and generous community that you are. To everyone who has visited Brittle Paper, read a post, liked a post, shared a post, left a comment, subscribed to the blog, recommended it to a friend, I say thank you.

To all the writers published on Brittle Paper, I say thank you. It is endlessly generous of you to share your work with our readers. With hard work and persistence, each and every one of you will go on to do great things.

Thanks to everyone in the African literary community for their support—fellow bloggers, critics, colleagues, publishers, writers, fellow scholars, mentors, and everyone contributing towards the global expansion of African literature.

I want to say a big thank you to Tiwalade Adekunle. As you may have noticed, I haven’t been the only one doing the blogging around here. Tiwalade joined the Brittle Paper team about two months ago. She is a creative writer and a student of International Studies and English at the University of Kentucky. It has been great having her on board as part of the editorial team. She is hardworking, brilliant, and sharp—everything I adore in an A+ blogger!

The joy I receive from knowing that I am contributing my bit towards reinventing African literature within the digital and social media space is unbounded. I hope you will continue to share in this joy by letting Brittle Paper enrich your experience of African writing and literary culture.

Happy 6th year anniversary to all the Brittlers out there!

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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.

15 Responses to “Brittle Paper is Six! | Thank You to an Amazing Community of Readers and Writers” Subscribe

  1. Obinna Udenwe 2016/08/01 at 05:01 #

    Happy 6th year anniversary, our own Brittle Paper! Thanks for reinventing African literature and for bringing in energy and glamour into it.

  2. Catherine Onyemelukwe 2016/08/01 at 06:21 #

    Congratulations on your 6th anniversary. You’ve reminded me to count and note my own anniversaries at my blog! Yours is a creative space, mine is reporting. But I share with you the joy of connecting with readers.

    Well done! You have certainly enlarged the space for African writers and readers in a brilliant fashion.

  3. Eddie Hewitt 2016/08/01 at 06:30 #

    Dear Brittle Paper.
    Happy 6th Anniversary! You have made a wonderful contribution to the appreciation and enhancement of African Literature, and you continue to push the boundaries in inspirational and exciting ways. Wishing you many more happy years together!
    My very best wishes, Eddie

  4. Larry Gabriel 2016/08/01 at 07:09 #

    Thank you for your website. You provide us all with new talented authors as well as established ones. I look forward to your posts daily. Happy anniversary.

  5. Mikeinioluwa 2016/08/01 at 07:28 #

    Happy 6th year anniversary to Brittle Paper and to every single Brittler. I discovered Brittle Paper last year and its been fun all the way. Thanks Ainehi Edoro for the space. Thanks Tiwalade. Our 7th anniversary is gonna be bigger than this.

  6. Ainehi Edoro 2016/08/01 at 07:54 #

    Thank you so much for these beautiful comments!

  7. Ainehi Edoro 2016/08/01 at 07:57 #

    Aunty Catherine! Thanks for sharing your beautiful story with me. It inspires me daily in my personal live as a wife, a mother, and as professional woman. You are an amazing woman!

  8. Ainehi Edoro 2016/08/01 at 07:59 #


    You went from being a reader to a Brittle Paper fan to a brother and a friend. Thank you for believing when no one else did.

  9. Suzanne 2016/08/01 at 08:27 #

    Happy Anniversary BP. Long may you reign.

  10. Nnamdi 2016/08/01 at 09:08 #

    Happy Sixth Anniversary Brittlepaper. For writers like me who began their careers on this platform, this is our anniversary too. Haha. Brittlepaper is family. Congratulations. And I wish you many, many more successful years.

  11. zinta 2016/08/01 at 10:27 #

    Happy 6th anniversary brittlepaper..may you continue to grown from grace to grace in Jesus name.
    I hope to see my post one day on this platform.

  12. Felicia Reevers 2016/08/01 at 10:29 #

    Happy Anniversary, Brittle Paper! Here’s to many more!

  13. Krishna Prasad 2016/08/01 at 11:10 #

    Happy sixth Anniversary. Keep Going.

  14. indiGENEous 2016/08/01 at 15:38 #

    Happy Sixth Anniversary! Brittle Paper will always be awesome to me. Here’s to more growth and achievements.

  15. Tee 2016/08/01 at 15:56 #

    Six hearty cheers to Brittle Paper!!! Thanks for reviving my love for African literature.
    PS- I submitted a short story as part of my support for Brittle Paper, will love to see it on the blog.

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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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