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About

A frican literature is changing.

Past generations of African writers wanted literature to address the burden of colonialism and various social ills. Fiction was seen as a cultural textbook for life. The African novelist was a teacher, as Achebe insists in his now famous 1965 essay, which would make the African reader little more than a student.

The current generation of African readers are driven more by their tastes and passions than by allegiance to some abstract political idea. They are young, open, and unconventional in their interests. They are social media savvy and dependent on mobile technology for media consumption. This has led to the popularity of shorter writings—flash fiction, online story series, and digital imprints of mass-market novellas. The obsession with realist fiction that defined older generations has given way to an avid interest in speculative writing—fantasy, science fiction— but also in experimental narratives, pulp-fiction, and other offbeat genres.

Brittle Paper is a literary project designed to adapt African literary culture to this new reality.

Started in 2010, we are noted by Publisher’s Weekly as a Go-To Book Blog and are part of The Guardian Books Network. Our objective is to help build a vibrant African literary scene. We seek out innovative approaches to book reviews and literary commentaries. We offer a thorough coverage of the African literary scene. We monitor how African authors interact with each other and with readers. We pay attention to literary spats, literary celebrity lifestyle, news about the publishing industry, the book market, and festivals. We look out for ways in which African literature intersects with local and global cultural currents. We are also committed to reinventing African literary classics for a younger, taste-driven audience. Most of all, by publishing original stories and poetry, we provide opportunity for new and aspiring writers to share their work with a lively audience. In line with this, we are collaborating with OkadaBooks on a new imprint.

Every year, since 2015, we recognize an African Literary Person of the Year. In 2017, we launched the Brittle Paper Awards, currently in its second year.

Fifty years ago, we said that the reader of African fiction wanted to be saved from colonial mentality. Today, African readers simply want stories that entertain and inspire them.

Brittle Paper is a response to this new mandate.

OUR TEAM

Ainehi Edoro. Photo credit: Victor Adewale.

AINEHI EDORO, Founder and Editor of Brittle Paper, is Assistant Professor of Global Black Literatures at the University of Winscosin-Madison’s Department of English and Department of African Cultural Studies. She was formerly Assistant Professor of Global Anglophone Literatures at Marquette University. She has a B.A. from Morgan State University, an M.A. from Kansas University, and a Ph.D. from Duke University. Her research interests include 21st century fiction, literature in digital/social media, The Global Anglophone Novel, African Literature, Contemporary British Fiction, Novel Theory, Political Philosophy, and Digital Humanities.

Ainehi has presented lectures about her work at Yale, Northwestern, The Art Institute of Chicago, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and at the Kunstnernes Hus in Oslo, Norway. Her academic writing has appeared in The Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Enquiry. Her essays on the African and global literary and cultural scenes have appeared in The GuardianOkayAfricaChimurenga ChronicAfrica Is a Country, Ventures Africa, and Norway’s Dagsavisen newspaper and Stemmer Magasin, among others. She is currently working on a book, Forest Imaginaries: How African Novels Think.

Ainehi is an editor at the University of Ohio’s Modern African Series. She sits on the advisory boards of The Bare Life Review and The Village Square magazines.

In 2016, Ainehi was included in New African magazine’s list of the “100 Most Influential Africans,” with Nigeria’s The Guardian reporting her to be among the “Five Most Influential Nigerian Women of 2016.” In 2018, she was included in OkayAfrica’s “100 Women” list.

Born in 1982, she grew up in Benin City, Nigeria.

Otosirieze Obi-Young. Photo credit: Cardinal Studios. 

OTOSIRIEZE OBI-YOUNG, Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper, is a writer, literary journalist, and former academic. Presently, he is a judge for both the Miles Morland Foundation Writing Scholarships and the Gerald Kraak Prize.

Otosirieze’s short stories have appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition. He has completed a collection of short stories, You Sing of a Longing, and is working on a novel. He is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency.

Otosirieze 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 cities in Nigeria. The second, Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (June, 2017), focuses on professions in Nigeria. He is Nonfiction Editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective. 14 has published two volumes, We Are Flowers (Jan. 2017) and The Inward Gaze (Jan. 2018).

Otosirieze has an M.A. in African Studies and a combined honours B.A. in History & International Studies and English & Literary Studies, both from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He taught English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu for eighteen months.

In his spare time, Otosirieze meets up with writing and ghostwriting deadlines, and is always, always available for more. He likes taking morning and evening walks. He follows pop culture, has fancy interests in Surgery, Physics, and fashion. He writes a personal blog, The Coo of a Blue-Plumed Bird, which he suspects may never become a book of essays.

Born in 1994, he grew up overlooking the streets in Aba, southeastern Nigeria.

When bored, he Googles Rihanna. Instagram & Twitter: @otosirieze.

Welcome to Brittle Paper, your go-to site for African writing and literary culture. We bring you all the latest news and juicy updates on publications, authors, events, prizes, and lifestyle. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@brittlepaper) and sign up for our "I love African Literature" newsletter.

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