Ed Note: It’s official. Uwem Akpan’s Say You’re One of Them is Oprah’s latest book pick. While the literary and publishing world celebrates the selection of a short story collection, we celebrate the giant leap for African literature!

On Friday September 18, Oprah Winfrey will announce her new book club selection. USA Today reports that Ron Hogan of publishing blog GalleyCat predicts (based on Amazon.com and BN.com pre-order data), it will be Uwem Akpan’s Say You’re One of Them. The 2008 debut short-story collection received rave reviews for its moving depiction of Africa.

uwem_bookNigerian writer Uwem Akpan was ordained a Jesuit priest in 2003 and graduated with an MFA in creative writing from the University of Michigan in 2006. Akpan’s stories are set in Rwanda, Nigeria, Benin, and Ethiopia and tell stories about children caught in horrible situations. Two of the stories in his first collection were published in The New Yorker.

Confirmed or not, this is great news for the author. We all know that anything Oprah touches turns to gold! It goes without saying that this will be phenomenal for him. This puts African writers in the forefront. As someone said, Africa and African Writers are in the midst of a remarkable renaissance.