Ethiopian novelist Maaza Mengiste is the May cover star of international online literary Magazine Writers Space Africa.

The photograph, credited to Nina Subin, shows Mengiste sitting, dressed in a light orange shirt on black trousers.

Founded by Anthony Onugba and edited by Namwanja Margaret Chikwabi, the monthly magazine showcases flash fiction, poetry, essays and articles, children’s literature and short stories. The magazine is remarkably pan-African as members of the editorial crew range from different parts of the continent.

Included in its May issue is an in-depth interview with Mengiste about her latest novel The Shadow King, which was shortlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize.

Read the Editor’s note below;

“Adversity is inevitable; misery is optional.” This is how my friend Marita Banda, a poet and author, puts it. The bad, the terrible and the worst things one can think of happen to all of us at one time or another in this life. How we react to them is entirely up to us.

Our contributors have run the gamut of this month’s theme: Misery. Explored in these pages are physical pain, mental health, self-reflection, parental expectations of children, secret love, depression, suicide, rape, unrequited love, social stigma and much more.
Gracing the cover of our May issue is Maaza Mengiste, author of the critically acclaimed and Booker Prize shortlisted novel “The Shadow King”. I sat down with her for an interview that quickly felt like a conversation with a friend. That’s a credit to her warm and welcoming nature. We hope you gain some useful insight into what she revealed.

Just before publication, we got some wonderful news that Writers Space Africa has been awarded ‘Best African Writer Promotion Platform 2021’ in Acquisition International Magazine’s Business Excellence Awards 2021! We are raising a glass and celebrating this award with you all!

Happy reading!

Namwanja, Chief Editor.

Download the issue here.