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Of Wives and Gurgles

I feel a power rising In the dark corners of my kitchen. It’s the neighbor’s wife. The crash and the thud, Of pestle and of mortar, Threshing and thrashing The dry flaky hardness Of millet into paste. She came in yesterday Chuckling like a barbarian. Like an old kettle Boiling and blustering Around the starchy […]

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Kafka + Coldplay 42 = Impossibility of Dying

Ghosts are always unsure. That’s why they are ghosts: beings stuck in the spaces between worlds that, for all we know, are as many as there are stars. What of ghosts that try in vain to convince us that they are really dead? That is Kafka’s Hunter Gracchus. He died after a really bad fall […]

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Afrobeat: Music of The City

“Fela Anikulapo Kuti was James Brown, Huey Newton, Rick James, Bob Marley, Duke Ellington and ODB all rolled up in one black African fist.” Mos Def Interest in the man and the music as mounted ever since he died. Several biographies.  A  million more to come. Wildly successful Broadway show.  A movie in the works. […]

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Stargazer

It was during those days that Shetima’s good fortune began to take on the fuzziness of legend. Shetima, the slave boy turned prince. Months after he married the Emir’s daughter, the slaves he left behind in the field lapped up the wake of hope that trailed his triumph and returned to the wretchedness of their […]

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Independence of Convenience

Any nation can be summed up by what it remembers and forgets about its past. That is why in America the loudness that accompanies July 4th is matched only by the silence that follows January 1st, the day slavery was officially brought to an end. It’s not that the end of slavery has no meaning […]

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The Enchantment of Beginnings

The enchantment of beginnings is as empty as the alchemist’s promise. With all the different anniversaries—birthday, independence day, wedding anniversaries, etc.— it is clear that you have a thing for beginnings. But why? Why do you always think that the question about how it all began is the most important question? You are familiar with […]

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Cafe Conversations: Liquified Humanity

Cafe Conversations is a Brittle Paper treat that ought really to be called Cafe Blather because it is a collection of disjointed babbling about the most random issues. For a taste of the previous Cafe Conversations click here. Drinking tea is bliss. Smell, texture, and tastelessness: killer combo of Zen and everything thing we both […]

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I Saw You Last Sunday

I saw you last Sunday, Shoulders propped against An airless window, Buttocks smashed atop A wobbly bench, Hands damp and renegade, Clutching onto a bible— The bible that always had that Uncanny air of aloofness— You appeared absorbed in The theatre of redemption Playing on the preacher’s Reddish tongue—the preacher You could not have seen […]

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“Read Salone, Build Salone”: The First Sierra Leone National Book Fair | 5-7 Dec.

SLNBF

Between December 5 to December 7, Freetown, Sierra Leone, will play host to the Sierra Leone National Book Fair—the first […]

Is There a Quota of 5 Books by African Authors for Every “Best 100 Books of 2019” List?

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As yet another year draws to a close, literary lists of various sorts are once again filling our newsfeeds. During […]

Laila Lalami’s The Other Americans Longlisted for the 2020 Aspen Words Literary Prize

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Moroccan-American novelist Laila Lalami’s The Other Americans has recently been longlisted for the 2020 Aspen Words Literary Prize. Described on the Aspen Prize’s […]

Apply for SBMEN’s Workshop “Literary Criticism: Judging Dynamic Creative Writing in All Forms”| 23 November

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The Society for Book and Magazine Editors of Nigeria (SBMEN) is calling for applications to its fourth (and last) editing […]

They Say There are Over 50 Translations of Things Fall Apart. Here are 61.

Achebe Translation Cover

How many times have you heard or read that Things Fall Apart has been translated into over 50 languages? And yet, […]

Vol. II of 20.35 Africa: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, Guest-edited by Yasmyn Belkhyr & Kayo Chingonyi, Now Available Here

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In November 2018, we published the debut volume of the 20.35 Africa: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry series. The first […]

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