Interview with Beatrice Lamwaka on Butterfly Dreams and Other Stories

Beatrice Lamwaka (born and raised in Alokolum, Gulu) is a Ugandan writer. She was shortlisted for the 2011 Caine Prize for her story “Butterfly Dreams”. She is the founder and director of the Arts Therapy Foundation,[ a non-profit organisation that provides psychological and emotional support through creative arts therapies. She is the general secretary of PEN Uganda Chapter and an executive member of the Uganda Reproduction Rights Organisation (URRO). She has served on the executive board of the Uganda Women Writers Association (FEMRITE), where she has been a member since 1998. Lamwaka’s writing has been translated into Spanish and Italian; she released her anthology of short stories Butterfly Dreams and Other Stories in 2016. Continue reading “Interview with Beatrice Lamwaka on Butterfly Dreams and Other Stories”

Bite-size Review: Season of Crimson Blossoms | Abubakar Adam Ibrahim

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Season of Crimson Blossoms | Abubakar Adam Ibrahim

With a steady hand Abubakar weaves an affair between fifty-five year old Hajiya Binta Zubairu and twenty-five year old Reza Babale. Reza, a local weed dealer, finds himself entangled in Binta’s life after robbing her place. As Binta stands shocked in the centre of her invaded living space, she suddenly feels a cool blade gently pierce her throat and Reza’s warm breath trailing behind her neck. His abrupt entrance and body warmth arouses Binta – something she had never experienced in her recent marriage before becoming widowed. Continue reading “Bite-size Review: Season of Crimson Blossoms | Abubakar Adam Ibrahim”

Bite-size Review: The Hairdresser of Harare | Tendai Huchu

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The Hairdresser of Harare | Tendai Huchu

This truly captures the spirit of ‘new writing’ within the African literary genre. The Hairdresser of Harare by the Zimbabwean writer Tendai Huchu illuminates the socio-political and cultural conditions of present day Zimbabwe. Through the heartbreaking friendship of Dumisani, a wealthy young man and Vimbai a struggling single mother; a set of complex political, economic and social relations unique to the country’s history of independence unfolds. Continue reading “Bite-size Review: The Hairdresser of Harare | Tendai Huchu”

Bite-size Review: Happiness, Like Water | Chinelo Okparanta

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Happiness, Like Water | Chinelo Okparanta

Chinelo Okparanta’s Happiness Like Water brings together a melange of short stories centred on contemporary issues faced by Nigerian women. In a powerful and lucid language, the lurid details of women subjected to the failings of a sexist society finds a voice. Whether trudging through the cruel accounts of domestic violence or sexual prejudice, the narrators tone maintain a compassionate composure that speaks volume of the continuing exploitation of women within male hegemonic structures. Continue reading “Bite-size Review: Happiness, Like Water | Chinelo Okparanta”

Bite-size Review: So Long A Letter | Mariama Bâ

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So Long A Letter | Mariama Bâ

Set in an Islamic society in Senegal So Long a Letter recounts the intimate details of the breakdown of a marriage and the subsequent roller-coaster of emotions felt by an abandoned wife with 12 children to bring up alone. After 25 years of marriage the reason for this abrupt desertion is due to the husband’s choice to take a second, younger wife. Ramatoulaye confides her grief to her friend Aissatou in a series of letters which are markedly personal, retelling her inner most feelings and her struggle to come to terms with what her beloved husband, Modou, has done to her. Continue reading “Bite-size Review: So Long A Letter | Mariama Bâ”

Bite-size Review: The Collector Of Treasures and Other Botswana Village Tales | Bessie Head

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The Collector of Treasures and Other Botswana Village Tales | Bessie Head

The Collector of Treasures and Other Botswana Village Tales is a powerful collection of stories that centres on societal issues and human nature in a specifically African context. They are about the day to day lives and experiences that people go through in the midst of newly attained ‘independence’; issues such as power, sexuality, justice, tradition and modernity arise in a diverse yet interrelated range of ways that show how skilfully Head has gauged the relationship and connections the stories have with one another. Continue reading “Bite-size Review: The Collector Of Treasures and Other Botswana Village Tales | Bessie Head”

Bite-size Review: No Sweetness Here | Ama Ata Aidoo

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No Sweetness Here | Ama Ata Aidoo

And there really isn’t! In this collection of eleven short stories, Aidoo explores a newly independent Ghana during its season of nominal “progress” and “freedom” to reveal through her characters’ conversations the true depth of national divide. Within social conversations (community chatter and clandestine dialogues) Aidoo creates a rhythmic uproar of witty, pious, condemning, bewildering, cunning and entertaining voices throughout each story. Continue reading “Bite-size Review: No Sweetness Here | Ama Ata Aidoo”