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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, Founder and Editor of Brittle Paper, is Assistant Professor of Global Black Literatures at the University of Winscosin Madison’s English Department and African Cultural Studies Department. She has a B.A. from Morgan State University, an M.A. from Kansas University, and a Ph.D. from Duke University. In 2016, she was included in New African Magazine’s list of the 100 Most Influential Africans. In 2018, she was included in OkayAfrica‘s 100 Women list. She is currently working on a book, Forest Imaginaries: How African Novels Think.

OTOSIRIEZE OBI-YOUNG, Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper, is a writer, literary journalist, and former academic. A judge for the 2019 Miles Morland Writing Scholarships and for the 2018/19 Gerald Kraak Prize, he is an editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective & magazine. 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. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition. He combined history and literature at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and taught English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. He is finishing a postgraduate programme in African Studies. 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. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts editing and writing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze.

MEREDITH NNOKA, understudy Submissions Editor of Brittle Paper, is pursuing doctoral studies in English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She studied Afro-American Studies at Smith College, and both English Literary Studies and Afro-American Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her poetry has appeared in The Massachusetts ReviewHEArt OnlineMandala JournalThe Collapsar, and elsewhere. Her poem “Prelude to Your Leaving” was nominated for inclusion in the 2017 Best of the Net anthology. A Hunger Called Music: A Verse History of Black Music, her first chapbook, was a winner of C&R Press’s Winter Soup Bowl Competition. Website: meredithnnoka.wordpress.com.

VINCENT OGOTI, Social Media Manager of Brittle Paper, is a writer and journalist based in Madison, Wisconsin. He earned a master’s degree from the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, a postgraduate diploma (with distinction) in Mass Communication, and an honors bachelor’s degree in Education, Literature, and Linguistics from the University of Nairobi. He has also studied English and African Studies (coursework) at Yale University where he was a Fulbright scholar at the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies.  He worked as an editor with Longhorn, a leading publishing house in East Africa, where he edited creative books among which are winners of the Burt Award for African Literature, the Wahome Mutahi Literary Prize, and the Jomo Kenyatta Prize for Literature. Follow Vincent @VinceRockwell.

 

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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