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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, academic, and Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review ("Mulumba," 2016), Transition ("A Tenderer Blessing," 2015), and in an anthology of the Gerald Kraak Award ("You Sing of a Longing," 2017), for which he was shortlisted. His work has further been shortlisted for the Miles Morland Writing Scholarship in 2016 and a Pushcart Prize in 2015. His conversations appear in Africa in Dialogue, Bakwa, SPRINNG, and Dwartonline. He is the curator of the Art Naija Series, a sequence of themed e-anthologies of writing and visual art exploring different aspects of Nigerianness. The first, Enter Naija: The Book of Places (October 2016), focuses on Nigerian cities. The second, Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (June 2017), focuses on professions in Nigeria. Born in Aba, he combined history and literature at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, is currently completing a postgraduate programme in African Studies, and teaches English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. When bored, he just Googles Rihanna.

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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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