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I realize this is short notice but a couple of  appearances this week:

As  part of a 3-day celebration honoring Chinua Achebe, March 4-6, Wellesley College presents an evening of readings by contemporary Nigerian novelists Helon Habila and Sefi Atta, moderated by Newhouse Visiting Professor of Creative Writing Colin Channer.  The readings will be held on Thursday, March 4, at 7 pm in the Clapp Library Lecture Room.
More information here — Wellesley College Honors Nigerian Author Chinua Achebe with Three-Day Celebration March 4-6


Sefi Atta will also appear as a keynote speaker at A Feast of African Literature, Languages, Fine Arts, and Performance at the University of Kansas’ African Studies Center. Friday March 5, 2010 Kansas Room, KS Union 3:30 p.m.

I’d like to do a full profile of Sefi Atta sometime soon as she is one of my favorite authors, but I feel the need to provide just a bit of background here.

Nigerian-born Sefi Atta’s short stories have appeared in journals like Los Angeles Review and Mississipi Review and have won prizes from Zoetrope and Red Hen Press. Her radio plays have been broadcast by the BBC. She is the winner of PEN International’s 2004/2005 David TK Wong Prize and in 2006, her debut novel Everything Good Will Come was awarded the inaugural Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa.

Why does it have to be “owned?” It is African Literature. It just is. There really is no owner. That is simply how I see it. Maybe I should have a more complicated answer but I don’t. I would love to hear other views. That is why it just pains me to have missed a recent discussion among three African writers on that very topic. Granted, this discussion happened at Penn State University’s University Park campus, a 200 mile drive from where I live; I would have been there if I had known about it earlier.  Imagine my sheer delight, finding a blog post about the event!

Helon Habila

Helon Habila

Binyavanga Wainaina

Binyavanga Wainaina

Patricia Jabbeh Wesley

Patricia Jabbeh Wesley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Monday, November 9th three African writers engaged in the discussion of who owns African literature. The three writers, Helon Habila, Binyavanga Wainaina and Patricia Jabbeh Wesley, each had ten minutes to discuss who they considered to own African literature. Read more here.

Thank you CULTURE MINING!

Young African Professionals and the Global Development Matters Meetup invite you to this month’s YAP Networking Event featuring  prolific and inspiring author,  Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on Friday, October 30th.

Venue: 1800 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Lobby-level Conference Center, Room 1026/28
Washington, DC 20036
Time: 6:00pm – 9:00pm
*Please bring photo identification, per the building’s security regulations.

**Seating is limited, please RSVP early: www.join.cgdev.org/site/Calendar?view=Detail&id=103301

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was born in Nigeria in 1977. She is from Abba, in Anambra State, but grew up in the university town of Nsukka where she attended primary and secondary schools. She then moved to the U.S. to attend college, graduating summa cum laude from Eastern Connecticut State. She holds Masters degrees in Creative Writing from Johns Hopkins and in African Studies from Yale.

Her work has been translated into thirty languages and has appeared in various publications, including The O. Henry Prize Stories, 2003; The New Yorker; Granta; the Financial Times; and Zoetrope. Her novel, Half of a Yellow Sun, won the Orange Broadband Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her first novel, Purple Hibiscus, won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award.

A recipient of the 2009 MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, Adichie divides her time between the U.S. and Nigeria.

Fellow author, Uzodinma Iweala (Beasts of No Nation) will moderate the Question and Answer session.

More information is available at http://www.africacenter.com/yap/events

Politics & Prose bookstore will have copies of the book(s) available for purchase.

As a fairly new blogger (I wonder how long I can use that!), I sometimes find it difficult to decide what to post here. There’s a lot of information out there! In any case, Chimamanda Adichie’s amazing talk at the TEDGlobal 2009 conference held in Oxford, UK is one of those pieces of information that I imagine everyone who has any interest in African writers must have seen or heard about somewhere.  But then again, maybe not.  Is it not my passion and intent to share information on this blog? And isn’t she one of my favorite novelists?
Well. Enough of my musing.  Let’s get right to it.

adichie-TEDChimamanda gave a talk at TEDGlobal.  I was inspired. I didn’t know much about TED so I feel the need to say a little about it here. TED presents “riveting talks by remarkable people, free to the world.” That was all the hook I needed. I’ve already spent a fair amount of time there, riveted.

TED is a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. One of their conferences, TEDGlobal is now held annually in Oxford. The themes of the global conference are slightly more international in nature.

About this talk
Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice — and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding. The danger of a single story.

For a little twist, columnist John Iteshi  does not agree with her views in this speech.

wesley_largeLiberian poet Patricia Jabbeh Wesley, author of  The River is Rising, will share selections from her work at the Washington, DC metro area’s Fall for the Book Festival.

The reading will be held  on Saturday September 19, 2009 2 p.m. at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, 950 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, D.C.

Also sharing from her work at this event is South African poet Gabeba Baderoon, author of A Hundred Silences.

I will be there. Most who know me know that authors are my celebrities of choice. They are my rock stars. I will jump through hoops to meet them. Two African authors at one event is, in my book,  just divine.