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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.

Edited By Helon Habila and Binyavanga Wainaina, this anthology will bring together the best of the best African short stories published in the last 50 years. You are invited to recommend any great short story you have read in a collection, a magazine, online, or heard on the radio, but it has to be by an African author.

The story could be in English, French, Portuguese, Arabic, or any major African language, but the final language of publication will be English. Send story title, author’s name, and any publication information you have to help us track your recommended story. Send before April 30, 2010, to: africastories2010@gmail.com

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!