A stunning Rwandan anthology of 10 stories is coming out this May with Rwandan publisher Huza Press. The anthology is titled Bald Dandelions With Their Wishes Blown Clean Off.

These ten stories, emerging from Rwanda, Kenya, Somaliland, Somalia and Ethiopia, highlight new voices in Eastern Africa. The anthology explores themes from “fiery femme tongues, broken colonial languages and tender queer subjectivities, to the complexities of embracing and rebelling against tradition via a young girl’s battle to attain education, and a story about chronic illness”, according to the synopsis.

The collection has emerged out of a collaboration between Huza Press and Saseni! – a new creative writing teaching space. These ten writers came together for a short story workshop in 2019 at the Hargeysa International Book Fair, led by Nadifa Mohamed and Billy Kahora. Following the workshop, the writers had the opportunity to work closely through the editing process with Stacy Hardy and Huza Press’s Associate Editor Lucky Grace Isingizwe.

According to the introduction, these ten stories are a “unique conversation between African writers of a new generation”. Engaging with love and hate, crime and domestic violence, passion and myth, resilience and family, this anthology illuminates and enacts the unbound commonality of African lives in spite of exaggerated national boundaries.

Read the full table of contents below:

Seeds of Jannah by Mona Liban

Jinni Boy by Aisha Ali Haji

Children of Cirsankayeedh by Hamdi Ali

Huub by Nebila Abdulmelik

Before the Malice Began, There was Beauty by Lucky Grace Isingizwe

There is a Place where Love has Boundaries by Jimcale Abdi Faarah

To Save a Life by Salma Ismail

Survivor’s Sacrifice by Abdihakin Ubahle

Your Shift Ends at Eight by Gary Layn

Bald Dandelions by Alexis Teyie

The anthology will be out in May 2024 and will available for purchase through Prestige Bookshop in the African continent and through African Books Collective globally.

We are thrilled to see the growth of Rwandan literature through this amazing collaboration! Props to Huza Press for making this happen.