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Dinaw Mengestu. Photo by Eli Meir Kaplan/Getty Images for Home Front Communications.

Dinaw Mengestu and Nadifa Mohammed both have new fiction forthcoming in the new fourth issue of Freeman’s magazine. Titled “The Future of New Writing,” the issue collects work by “29 passengers we think will continue to be traveling into the future—perhaps even define it.” Freeman’s is named after, and edited by, former Granta editor and former president of the US National Book Critics’ Circle (NBCC) John Freeman.

Winner of a MacArthur “Genius” Grant in 2012, the Ethiopian Mengestu is the author of The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears (2007) which won the 2007 Guardian Best First Book Award and a 2008 Los Angeles Times Book Prize; How To Read the Air (2010) which won the 2011 Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence; and All Our Names (2014) which was nominated for the Prix Femina etranger. A Professor of Creative Writing at Georgetown University, he made the US National Book Foundation’s “5 under 35” list in 2007, The New Yorker’s “20 under 40” list in 2010, Hay Festival’s Africa 39 list in 2014, and Granta‘s list of “The Best of Young American Novelists” in 2017. Of his work, Freeman writes:

Adornment, I increasingly feel, is a distraction from beauty, especially in writing. In his piece about a teacher who has survived a militia raid in Uganda, Dinaw Mengestu simply allows his subject’s story to take over and speak for itself.

Nadifa Mohamed. Image from Wikipedia via Google.

The Somali-British Nadifa Mohamed’s first novel, Black Mamba Boy (2009), won the 2010 Betty Trask Award, was shortlisted for the 2010 Guardian First Book Award, the 2010 Dylan Thomas Prize, and the 2010 John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, and was longlisted for the 2010 Orange Prize for Fiction. Her second novel, The Orchard of Lost Souls (2013)won the Somerset Maugham Award and was longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize. She was included in Granta‘s list of “The Best of Young British Novelists” in 2013, and in Hay Festival’s Africa 39 list in 2014. Of her work, Freeman writes:

Nadifa Mohamed conjures the life of a sailor living in Wales at the midpoint of last century, when men of his ilk prayed that a crime was not committed by someone resembling them.

This issue of Freeman’s will be launched on October 3 in New York City, with Dinaw Mengestu present. We look forward to reading his and Nadifa’s new work.

Read John Freeman’s introduction HERE.

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About Otosirieze Obi-Young

View all posts by Otosirieze Obi-Young
Otosirieze Obi-Young is a writer, journalist, & Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. The recipient of the inaugural The Future Awards Prize for Literature in 2019, he sits on the judging panels of The Miles Morland Writing Scholarships and of The Gerald Kraak Prize. He is Nonfiction Editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective, which has published volumes including We Are Flowers (2017) and The Inward Gaze (2018). He is Curator at The Art Naija Series, a sequence of e-anthologies of writing and visual art focusing on different aspects of Nigerianness, including Enter Naija: The Book of Places (2016), which explores cities, and Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (2017), which explores professions. His work in queer equality advocacy in literature has been profiled in Literary Hub. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition. He has completed a collection of short stories, You Sing of a Longing, is working on a novel, and is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. He has an M.A. in African Studies and a combined honours B.A. in History & International Studies/English & Literary Studies, both from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He taught English in a private Nigerian university. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts writing and editing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze. When bored, he Googles Rihanna.

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