Group of boys in uniform sitting and reading in classroom Lagos City High School
Source: Adolphus Opara/Twenty Ten/Panos
What a sad decade for the book business in the West. Publishers have consolidated, advances have shrunk and the hands of the sad old literary guard are sore from wringing.
It鈥檚 a different story in Nairobi. And in Lagos, Abuja, Johannesburg, and even Harare. Over the past decade, these cities have become epicenters of a literary renaissance with truly pan-African potential. There are prestige publishers, big-money prizes and literary festivals galore.
The stories have shifted, too. Nowadays, there鈥檚 little angsting about national identity in a post-colonial context or, for that matter, over catastrophe and want. Instead, a bevy of young Africans are shaping the future of fiction, reportage and critique on their continent, and perhaps well beyond.
鈥淚t鈥檚 beyond an evolution 鈥� it鈥檚 a revolution,鈥� says Nigerian-American Ikhide Ikheloa, a critic and prominent observer of the scene.It may have begun in 2003, when Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie鈥檚 first novel, Purple Hibiscus , was published 鈥� and not just by an American publisher but by a Nigerian one, too. By now, Adichie is the still-young doyenne of the contemporary African lit scene. Her recent novel, Americanah […]