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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 was born in Aba, Nigeria and attended the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. A finalist for the 2016 Miles Morland Writing Scholarship, his short stories include: “A Tenderer Blessing,” which appears in Transition Magazine and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2015; “Mulumba,” which appears in The Threepenny Review; and “You Sing of a Longing,” which was shortlisted for the inaugural Gerald Kraak Award and appears in Pride and Prejudice, an anthology by The Jacana Literary Foundation and The Other Foundation. His essays appear in Interdisciplinary Academic Essays and in Brittle Paper where he is Deputy Editor. His interviews appear in Africa in Dialogue, Bakwa Magazine, SPRINNG, and Dwartonline. He is the editor 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. A postgraduate student of African Studies, he currently teaches English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu, Nigeria. When bored, he blogs pop culture at naijakulture.blogspot.com or 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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