Sunday, 23 October 2016

Blogger Spotlight: James Murua Literature Blog

James Murua is a blogger and journalist born  in Kenya where he lives and currently blogs from. He has a business degree with a marketing concentration from a Kenyan university. He admits not to be in an academic environment at the moment, however, he is continually learning as part of his professional development. James Murua Literature Blog

What inspired you to start your blog?
I started it as a way to shine a light on books that I was reading that were not being talked about in the blogosphere the way that I would have loved seen done. After talking about it for a while I decided to put my money where my mouth was by registering a domain and started blogging.

How did you fall upon the name James Murua Literature Blog?

Sunday, 16 October 2016

An Image of Africa, 2002, Chinua Achebe ****

An Image of Africa is a collection of essays by the legendary Chinua Achebe. I have his other collection of (extensive) essay called The Education of a British-Protected Child first published in 2009, which I highly enjoyed. Both books were purchased in Spain, Barcelona and San Sebastian respectively.

This collection of essay is divided into two parts: one is "An Image of Africa"; Racism in Conrad's Heart of Darkness  and the other is "The Trouble with Nigeria".

The first part gives a historical perspective of the relationship of Europeans with Africans.
Africa as setting and back drop which eliminates the African as

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Blogger Spotlight: African Book Addict!

Let me introduce you to Darkowaa the blogger behind African Book Addict!

Darkowaa was born in the U.S.A, she moved to Ghana when she was 10 years old where she spent her formative years and later moved back to the U.S.A for undergrad. She curently lives in Accra, Ghana where she blogs from. Some people refers to her as Ghanaian-American, however, she simply likes to be identified as Ghanaian.

She considers herself to be a forever student (welcome to the club). During her undergraduate years, she went to a liberal arts school in the US (Middlebury College) so she studied a bit of everything. However, she eventually focused on Sociology & Anthropology as her major, with pre-dental courses on the side. She is at the moment pursuing her second degree in dentistry - in Accra. 

What inspired you to start your blog?

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Blogger Spotlight

I am currently working on a project called "Blogger Spotlight" it is my way of introducing you to other amazing and fascinating blogs that also discuss African literature. We will get to discover the person (or people) behind the blogs, the books they read, what inspired them to start blogging, their most read author, their favourite writer and books they've read, really enjoyed and highly recommend. They would also introduce us to other literature blogs we might like to explore too.

Let me take this opportunity to thank everyone who have participated, who have accepted to participate and an advance thank you to those who I am yet to ask to participate. Please, feel free to contact me if you'd like to take part in this project.

First Blogger Spotlight post will take place next week!

Thank you.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

The Book of Negroes, 2007, Lawrence Hill *****

Aminatta Diallo born in Bayo, a small village in Western Africa, while returning from attending to a woman in labour with her mother she is abducted and sold into slavery at the age of eleven.

Her journey begins with the long walk towards the coast of West Africa to be shipped to the Americas. She survives the long walk and the sea, however she witnesses how her people were being dehumanised .

On her arrival, she is sold to the owner of an indigo plantation. Luckily, she reconnects with Chekura, a young boy with whom she walked the long walk and sailed the sea. They fall in love and try to form a family. The question here is, how do you really form a family when the law turns you into someone's property.

Her husband Chekura is sent away, she is resold and separated from her

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Ama: A Story Of The Atlantic Slave Trade, 2000, Manu Herbstein ****

Ama is a historical fiction that narrates on the transatlantic slave trade, following the coming of age of a young girl from her village where she is kidnapped and raped, to Brazil.

Ama, her first name is Nandzi. She is captured when she is taking care of her brother alone in her village, sold into the Ashanti Empire, fell in love  with the king and re-sold again. Turned into a sexual companion to one of the old Dutch, against her will, though it kept her away from the dungeon. One situation led to another, she found herself sailing in the ship The Love of Liberty on her way to be sold again in Barbados for the 3rd or 4th time.

In The Love of Liberty, she witnesses the reckless death of her colleagues, how

Monday, 1 August 2016

The Wretched Africans, 2016, Joe Khamisi ****

First of all I'd like to thank Joe Khamisi for reaching out to me and sending me his book for review, I really did not know anything about the South-East African slave trade, or the Arab slave trade neither did I know about the Rabai and Freretown slave settlement.
This book narrates on the history of slavery in East Africa. The Arabs ravaged the land, instigate war to make it easier to capture African citizens in order to force them into slavery through the main slave market in Zanzibar.

The British banned slavery,  though that

Monday, 11 July 2016

Beast of No Nation, 2005, Uzodinma Iweala ****

"Beast of No Nation" is the story of Agu a child-soldier whose narrative has a lot in common with  Birahima's in "Allah is not Obliged", both narrators not older than ten were unable to tell their ordeal in a grammatical correct language, nevertheless it was no deterrent to put their message across. However, let me confess  it somewhat slowed down my reading as they were both children narrating atrocities in an unstructured language which makes it  necessary to reread sometimes.

Agu's village is ravaged by war, his mother

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Spring Read 2016

Summer is finally here and Spring has come to an end. What did I read in Spring?

I am on page 87 of 416 of Bitter Leaf by Chioma Okereke, I am not sure if I

Monday, 27 June 2016

Beyond the Horizon, 1995, Amma Darko ****

Beyond the Horizon, in my opinion, is a disturbing read though a necessary one. I think it should be titled The downfall of Mara, because she kept on falling from the very beginning of the story to the end as she is seen as a victim of her circumstances. She tells her devastating story. Married off to Akobi who  physically and sexually abuses her from day one, the abuse and exploitation continues as they move to Germany.
A provocative and a sad read, indeed. I wonder why Amma Darko portrays Mara as helpless and worthless, I also wonder why Mara follows Akobi to Germany if he is not treating her any better in Ghana, why should he be different in Germany? Perhaps, Amma wants to shed light on the role of women and the result of their social construction in rural Ghana? Trying to show the damages traditionalized male chauvinism does to women. For instance Mara thinks her marriage is

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Becoming Abigail, 2006, Chris Abani ****

Becoming Abigail is the story of  Abigail whose mother died during her birth, her father who couldn't bear the loss of his wife falls into depression. During one of his melancholic sadness he accepts that Abigail would go with her cousin Mary and her husband to the UK as a way of making sure she gets a brighter future.
Unfortunately, a brighter future is not what awaits Abigail in England, instead she is exploited and dehumanised and as a result finds herself in the throes of death, her ability to survive would determine her fate.

Chris Abani's prose as usual is lucid, compelling and graceful. Becoming Abigail

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Una entrevista con Wiriko

Les invito a leer una entrevista que hice con el periodista Carlos Bajos Erro para el magacín Wiriko, haciendo click en su logo de abajo.

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Yoruba Girl Dancing, 1991, Simi Bedford ***

1950, Nigeria is on the edge of independence, Remi's father wants her daughter to be one of the leaders of the country and so decides to send her to England to get a proper English training. That is the story of Remi, Yoruba Girl Dancing, the trauma of her uprooting at the age of 6 from her sunny home in Lagos to a gloomy, cloudy and rainy England.

...Then as the sound of her footsteps retreated, fueled by undiluted terror, I started to scream. Nobody came. Eventually I fell asleep. I was six years old and I had been in England four days.

Remi, is left in boarding School in England for a whole six years without contact with

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Jasmine Kumalah

Jasmine Kumalah is the author of Holding Demons in Small JarsBorn in Belgium to Sierra Leonean and Togolese parents. Brought up in Sierra Leone, lived in Ghana, Togo, Benin and finally settled in the United States of America with a Bachelor's degree in Human Georgraphy and African Studies and Masters in City and Regional Planning. A promising writer to be on the lookout for. 

Mary Okeke: I really enjoyed reading your book as you might have noticed from my review. A short narrative, however, so rich in content. I read that you are Belgian born, Sierra Leonean-Togolese-American, could  you please explain your rich heritage?
Jasmine Kumalah: It has always been important for me to honor all the places that have come to make me. I was born in Belgium to a Sierra Leonean father and Togolese mother. After a move back to my father's country Sierra Leone that was interrupted by civil war, my family and I became refugees and ended up in the United States where I became a citizen.

Mary Okeke: Seeing that you have a Bachelor's degree in Human Geography and African Studies and Masters in City and Regional Planning, are you going to pick up writing as a profession?
Jasmine Kumalah: I have come to label myself as writer in the last few years. I'm not in a point in my life where I can sustain as a full time writer. But writing is something I take very seriously and I spend a lot of time building myself in the craft.

MO: How did you come about writing “Holding Demons in Small Jars”?
JK: Holding Demons in Small Jars was a cathartic piece for me. The Sierra Leonean civil war played such an important role in my life trajectory I knew that I had to write back to it. I especially wanted to process what the war had done to me and my community emotionally. What kind of emotional traumas haunt those of us who survived? This was the space the book was birthed out of.

MO: How did you decide upon the title “Holding Demons in Small Jars”? May I also ask the figure of speech? 
JS: I've tried to remember the exact moment the phrase came to mind but I honestly can't remember. I'll like to think it came to me in a dream and I woke up knowing that somehow those words were what encapsulated the book perfectly. Whenever I say the phrase people are arrested by it, it's emotive and visual and it speaks to the discomforts in the novel.
The figure of speech isn't one I've ever seen. But for some reason when it came to me it felt like it spoke to what it means to not speak about one's emotional traumas. We all know the phrase about people holding their demons inside. I imagined that demons would be very uncomfortable in small jars, that they would find ways to do some mischief inside of us.

MO: Correct me if I am wrong, the fictitious country "Bantunia" in your novel refers to Sierra Leone? 
JK: Yes, the fictional country is completely inspired by Sierra Leone. While writing the book I felt a lot of emotional blocks when I tried to write about Sierra Leone. At the time that I started the text I hadn't been back in about 13 years. It felt very difficult to write about Sierra Leone given the place it occupied in my mind. It was distorted by time, space and an array of painful and beautiful emotions. Bantunia is the place of my memories, I couldn't in good conscience call it Sierra Leone.

MO: Why did you feel like telling this story charged with so much social conscience?

Monday, 30 May 2016

The In Between World of Vikram Lall, 1999, M.G. Vassanji

Kenya 1950, racial segregation in full swing. Vikram Lall and his sister are Kenyans of Indian descent, friends to Njoroge a Kikuyu whose grand father is their gardener, to Bill and Annie Bruce who were white British. Mau Mau, mainly Kikuyus, were also in the height of activity, fighting for their freedom.
The In-Between World of Vikram Lall narrates the relationship between these children in a racial segregated Kenya all the way to its independence through the voice of Vikram Lall.

Finally, Kenya got its
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...