Post Number: 2848
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|Posted on Monday, March 06, 2006 - 03:13 pm: ||
Two anthologies--- "Black Women Writers" and "Black Short Fiction" are being released first in Africa, England, France, Germany and The Netherlands this week. I'm in BOTH books!
We got our first review in "The Guardian"---Nigeria's largest daily newspaper, and they mentioned me in the first paragraph!
Ageless black books rend the sky
By Uduma Kalu
CHINUA Achebe, Wole Soyinka, Toni Morrison, Kola Boof, Ngugi wa Thiongo, and a host of other black writers have come out this year to make 2006 one to remember for a long time.
One of the publications include an E-Book, Black Women Writers, which will soon be on the stable. A 100,000 page- literature and essays written by black women from Africa and the African Diaspora in electronic format, the book brings a such a large number of African women together for the first time.
Facing sexism and racism at the same time, black women have needed to create their own identities and movements. This collection, according to the publishers, Alexander Street, based in the United States of America, documents black women effort from its earliest beginnings. Much of the documentation associated with this work is fugitive, lying in rare and hard to find texts, obscure typewritten photocopied journals, and the occasional anthology. With this landmark collection.
The publishers say it makes accessing these resources easy at last, bringing scholars the voices of African women along with a tool for understanding the feminine perspective on the diversity and development of black people in the Diaspora.
According to a commentator, Valentine Udoh James, Black women writers' contributions to their societies and the global communities are many and varied and the contributions mirror the complexities, experiences, struggles, and circumstances that women confront in their different environments.
The book treats African American women begins in the late 18th century with narratives depicting slavery by writers such as Phillis Wheatley, expanding to cover writers such as Ida B. Wells, Amanda Berry, and others who took up the work for women's rights.
The publishers plan to cover the Harlem Renaissance with writers such as Marita Bonner, Zora Neale Hurston, and others, and have targeted writers from the movements of the 1960s including Maya Angelou, Sonia Sanchez, and Rosa Guy as well as recent writings by authors such as Michelle Wallace and Patricia Hill Collins, covering issues such as Womanism and Black Feminism.
The collection will also cover the explosion of works by women in the Caribbean that started in the second part of the 20th century. With targeted authors such as Michelle Cliff (Jamaica), Maryse Conde (Guadeloupe), Edwidge Danticat (Haiti), and Dionne Brand (Trinidad) among many others, the materials will show how various historical, economic, and political conditions affected women in the islands-how they deal with slavery and colonialism, how the use of the Creole permeates their works, and how race and class operate in the Caribbean context.
African women came into their own as writers during the late 1950s and 1960s, following the winds of independence that swept across Africa. Black Women Writers aims to include works of a wide range of authors from that period. In all, more than 20 African countries will be represented in the project. Its target list includes Ama Ata Aidoo (Ghana), Bessie Head (South Africa), Grace Ogot (Kenya), Chikwenye Okonjo Ogunyemi (Nigeria), Flora Nwapa (Nigeria), and Buchi Emecheta (Nigeria), among others.
The breadth of African materials will allow researchers to explore the wide-ranging roles of women-as intellectuals, nation builders, and influencers of society as a whole. Users will be able to explore how and why the feminism practised in North America is rejected by African women, whose matriarchal cultures shape their unique way of approaching this subject, said the publishers, said the information.
"Women of today are still being called upon to stretch across the gap of male ignorance and to educate men as to our existence and our needs. This is an old and primary tool of all oppressors to keep the oppressed occupied with the master's concerns. Now we hear it is the task of women of Colour to educate white women - in the face of tremendous resistance - as to our existence, our differences, and our relative roles in our joint survival. This is a diversion of energies and a tragic repetition of racist patriarchal thought. In light of these facts, the women decided to forge their own movement, the Black Feminist Movement," said another commentator, Audre Lorde.
The publishers went on to say that "Black Women Writers reveals how women from Africa fought for their rights; how North American women participated in the Civil Rights movement; how political instabilities, slavery, and socio-economic inequalities influenced Caribbean female cultural expressions; and other answers to questions that otherwise are impossible to ask in an electronic database, such as: Show me all works written in the 1880s that discuss literacy. *Give me all works written by Nigerians that mention slavery. *Give me all works with the word violence within five words of woman. *Show me works by women born in the United States who are writing in their teens. *Show me all poems that mention home. *Show me the differences between how Caribbean and North Americans portrayed slaves. *Show me all works that mention African Feminism.
The book will be available on the web beginning in the spring of 2006 through one-time purchase of perpetual rights or by annual subscription. The E-book anthology is groundbreaking because it is the first that actually includes complete novels and autobiographies instead of just portions of an artist's work.
Already, its cost is sending fears down the spines of many people as it is feared that only universities, libraries and the rich can afford it. There will also be an Encyclopaedia-like book version available only in universities.
Another big anthology, Black Short Fiction features writers like Kola Boof, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Langston Hughes, Gloria Naylor, J. California Cooper, Chinua Achebe and others.
Also some few weeks ago, Salutation to the Gut written by the Nobel Laurette was published on google.com. a review of the book by Gbemisola Adeoti said the book was published in 2002 by Bookcraft Limited, Ibadan. With only 84 pages, the book is just about Wole Soyinka's judgement on food and wine.
Soyinka, a discerning connoisseur, Adeoti writes, is described by his friends as able to tell with amazing precision and accuracy, the content of each bottle, whether red or white, dry or sweet, the makers and the country of origin. "Sometimes, such information would be completed with the age of the wine. He knows the exact forest where the most juicy game can be obtained, being a distinguished member of the hunters' guild at the University of Ife. He would tell you the type of 'bush meat' that would sink well with amala or the one that would be a delightful accompany iyan. Hardly a heavy eater, he is a man with a painstakingly choosy palate, one who can rightly be described in his own words as "the true hedonist who has felt in every morsel, the soul of the open kitchen", says the reviewer.
Soyinka now brings this personal trait, sourced in cultural origin, to bear on his polemical composition on Yoruba food and drink - Salutation to the Gut. The essay is more of a celebration of collective cultural experience rather than that of an individual. Exploring Yoruba's vast corpus of praise chants (oriki), the author in a palate tickling poetic prose pays tribute to hunger. Having established hunger and thirst as the basis for humanity's quest for food and drink, he rhapsodises in lucid images and pun, about popular food in Yoruba menu. These include amala (yam flour preparation), iyan (pounded 'Having established hunger and thirst as the basis for humanity's quest for food and drink, he rhapsodises in lucid images and pun, about popular food in Yoruba menu'yam) and the final cause, emu (palm wine).
Talk of old palm wine in a new gourd - Salutation to the Gut is now published as a small pocket size book. Generally, Salutation to the Gut laughs at the perceived lack of a "fundamental sensitivity to food" among Europeans. It rhapsodises about the abundant presence of the quality among Yoruba. The author draws evidence for his witty claims from sources as diverse as Jonathan Swift, John Gay, Samuel Johnson, William Golding, S.T. Coleridge, Sigmund Freud, Amos Tutuola and ijala poetry. The 84 page book is one of those efforts to render Soyinka's works more accessible, not only intellectually, but also economically.
O.R. Dathorne and Willfried Feuser have earlier published this piece. It also featured in Reflections, another collection edited by Frances Ademola and published by African University Press in 1962. What earns the Bookcraft pocket
Ngugi wa Thiongo's latest
novel, Wizard of the Crow has been released. Described by some as huge, the book is over 700 pages! On the blurb, it
says, "His aim in Wizard of the Crow is, in his own words, nothing less than 'to sum up Africa of the 20th century in the context of 2000 years
Wizard of the Crow is also said to be "a vicious attack," and that "returning to Kenya after 22 years has not deterred Ngugi wa Thiong'o from exposing despotism."
In an interview with a Kenyan reporter, Ngugi explained what his book is all about.
He returned in August 2004 to launch the first volume of the 1 000-page novel, Murogi wa Kagogo (Wizard of the Crow).
The novel whose second of four volumes is published in Kenya is set in the fictional Aburiria, ruled by a despot in an era of globalisation. Simon Gikandi, professor of English at Princeton, says: "In its best scatological moments, it echoes the great Latin American novels of dictatorship by Miguel çngel Asturias, Carlos Fuentes and Gabriel Garc’a M‡rquez.'' Ngugi's English translation will be published simultaneously this August in London and New York. A book of interviews, Ngugi wa Thiong'o Speaks (James Currey), will appear in Britain later this year.
He began the novel in 1997, before Moi ended his 24 years in power. For the ruler, whose Western suits are patched with leopard skin, he drew not only on Moi, but "postcolonial dictators -- Marcos, Idi Amin, Mobutu, Pinochet, Suharto. There's almost a comic element, except that they're so dangerous.'' The West, he said, colluded, "as though they need an absurd figure to laugh at while making sure he meets their needs; after the cold war, they became disposable''. Yet some adapted. As the ruler said, "What I did against communists, I can do against terrorists.''
The novel's first volume sold well in local terms: 1 500 copies within a year, some read aloud in bars and matatus (taxis). "One book in Africa is read by at least 10 people -- sometimes a whole village,'' he says.
Post Number: 2849
Votes: 0 (Vote!)
|Posted on Monday, March 06, 2006 - 03:15 pm: ||
I know some take this as bragging, but as I told Yvette---this is my BLOG,
and as well----another half of the people ask me to post these things, because they feel as though they're a part of watching me rise, which they are.
I apologize to those who are bored by these clippings about my career.
This is my life...and we all talk about and share our lives here.