Wednesday, October 1, 2014
theyuniversity:

Well said, Doctor. Well said.

We heartily agree!

theyuniversity:

Well said, Doctor. Well said.

We heartily agree!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

What I learned from my meeting with Agboola is that it does not feel good to predict human failings and for them to turn out to be true, especially when there are people striving so hard to overcome these failings and to create a better world for their fellow citizens. Here was a man daring to dream, and in my fiction I had snuffed out that dream. This in a country currently wracked by the militant Islamic group Boko Haram and the dreaded Ebola virus. There is little courage in presaging that things will turn out for the worse.

But it is not so easy to write positive stories, either, because fiction thrives on conflict. If every character gets along fine, the tension will dissipate and the reader will stop turning the page. It would have been far more challenging for me to envision a better Nigeria in fiction, or at least a different one.

As I left the space center, Agboola asked me to tell the world about his program. Tell me, would you have read that story? Will you read it if I write it?

Deji Bryce Olukotun writing for Slate Magazine about meeting Dr Olufemi Agboola, the director of engineering and space systems at Nigeria’s National Space Research and Development Agency, and almost a doppelganger for the main character of his novel Nigerians in Space.

The novel is one of our top titles by Nigerian authors to watch out for in 2014 - see the full list here.

Nigerian writer Sefi Atta interviewed by ELLE South Africa

  • Q: What stories do you want to hear coming out of Africa?
  • Sefi Atta: Surprising, I want to be surprised. I want to read about an African divorce. I want to see work that’s less politically driven because it shows the writer is brave enough to write that without being worried the story wont be picked up because it’s not political.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Haruki Murakami answers questions on his writing at the Edinburgh Book Festival

  • Question: What is good about being a novelist?
  • Haruki Murakami: No commuting, no meetings, no boss.
Tuesday, September 9, 2014

dynamicafrica:

In honor of International Literacy Day, I compiled a list of some of my favourite books written by African authors (with the exception of the book about Fela). There are many books I could’ve added to this post but these were the first that came to mind.

There’s no order to this list and each comes highly recommended as they, in some way, changed me for the better. If I had to pick a favourite it would undoubtedly be Zimbabwean writer Tsitsi Dangarembga’s Nervous Conditions simply because it was the first book I read in which I related so deeply to several of the characters - and still do. From Nyasha’s struggle with depression and being caught between two cultures she feels alienated by, to Tambu’s hunger for a world beyond her circumstances. Ugandan author Okot p’Bitek’s Song of Lawino and Song of Ocol comes in a close second, it’s just about as cheeky and blunt as I am in some parts and, perhaps a little out of narcissism, is why I enjoyed it.

Between these 18 books you’ll find everything from the personal to the political, and everything in-between. There’s love, there’s romance, there’s struggle, there’s strife, there’s beauty and there’s ugly too. No story is as simple as their titles may suggest, just read Camara Laye’s L’enfant Noir (The African Child) that explores the author’s early childhood in Guinea under French colonisation, or South African writer Sol Plaatjie’s historical novel Mhudi written in 1919 that placed a woman at the center of a story that deals with survival, displacement and early European colonisation in South Africa.

For anyone interested in reading these books, I found some of them available online (not all are complete):

Monday, September 8, 2014
Happy International Literacy Day! Come over to the ZODML blog to find out which titles our staff and volunteers are reading to celebrate, from Wole Soyinka plays to Sefi Atta novels.

Happy International Literacy Day! Come over to the ZODML blog to find out which titles our staff and volunteers are reading to celebrate, from Wole Soyinka plays to Sefi Atta novels.

Happy International Literacy Day! Today we celebrate reading, books, and the positive impact a literate society can have on sustainable development. Check out photographs of ZODML staff and library patrons sharing why they read on our Facebook page.

Happy International Literacy Day! Today we celebrate reading, books, and the positive impact a literate society can have on sustainable development. Check out photographs of ZODML staff and library patrons sharing why they read on our Facebook page.

Thursday, September 4, 2014
The wisdom of Chinua Achebe remains always with us. Read more here.

The wisdom of Chinua Achebe remains always with us. Read more here.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014
With music you have a direct sensory input, the sound of the notes. And with the visual arts or dance or architecture you have a direct visual apprehension of the thing that you’re looking at. With books the sensory information you’re getting is very limited. You can become aware, while you’re reading, of the white page and the black marks on it, but that’s presumably a neutral experience. You’re supposed to see beyond that veil. And I think it’s that extra step that people find anxiety-provoking. But that extra step is what makes reading reading. A great quote from book designer Peter Mendelsund. Read more here.
Thursday, August 21, 2014
Many stories matter. Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign. But stories can also be used to empower, and to humanize. Stories can break the dignity of a people. But stories can also repair that broken dignity. Chimamanda Adichie