Sterile Sky (Heinemann African Writers Series)

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Igbo Mbari House Source: Nairaland. Nigerian dramatist, Duro Ladipo along with Beier and Mphahlele also developed a similar club at Oshogbo in , which was called Mbari Mbayo. You ask. Mbari is an Igbo name.

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Soyinka and I were tossing around in search of a name to give the club and then Chinua rang and said "what about Mbari? It also published some iconic works of African literature - the f irst books by Clark, Okigbo, and Soyinka alongside translations of francophone poetry and work by South African writers critical of apartheid. In the s, Mbari Club was a centre of cultural activity in Nigeria for artists, writers and anybody involved in the arts, but it was more than that.

Email This BlogThis! Share to Twitter Share to Facebook. October being the month that I celebrate Nigerian literature, here are two new releases from two young Nigerian authors. One is out now and the other will be published in early I was initially going to write a different post, but then I stumbled on an article written in by Graham Furniss on Hausa Poetry on the Nigerian Civil War.

Hope you enjoy!!! Nevertheless, there was a considerable body of material in verse produced during the war years and published in the main Hausa language newspaper, Gaskiya ta Fi kwabo, or recited at gatherings and over the radio. Gaskiya Ta Fi Kwabo The truth is worth more than a Kwabo [Kobo - Nigerian currency] is a Hausa-language newspaper in northern Nigeria and the first newspaper published entirely in Hausa. Leader of the age, my heart bids me.


The world recognises you, your zeal and your honesty. Your patience is very great. You have no elder, only younger brothers among. It is your first novel. Do you think that the common assumption that first novels tend to be autobiographical holds true? I think so.

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There is an element of autobiography in everything a writer produces. As a matter of fact, there is just a thin demarcation, easily blurred, between fiction and non-fiction so that all narratives claiming to be non-fiction have something of fiction in them, and vice versa. How do you feel about that? Are you sorry to see that the prize is no longer being awarded? Oh yes, Abubakar. Did winning the prize feel like a validation, especially having had your work rejected by publishers in Nigeria?

It has been years since the publication of your debut novel. What has EE Sule been cooking in the intervening period? Well, well, well. Scholarship is as demanding as literary writing. So I often found myself jealously pulled at both ends. But I have made the best of that jealousy. For instance, any time scholarship takes me out of this country, I ensure that I use some of the time to concentrate on writing fiction, and vice versa. So, I have good news for you. There are three of my works with publishers now: my second novel, a literary biography of Niyi Osundare, and a critical book on Nigerian literature.

So, you see, a lot has been cooking. As an academic and a writer, should creative writing be offered as a degree course in Nigerian universities?

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It should. It definitely should. English departments in Nigerian academic system have been, hitherto, reluctant to grant what you might call a degree status to creative writing because some traditional scholars traditional in their quaint way of thinking have undermined the skills of creativity.

Blessed with great writers and cultural artists, Nigeria needs to give creative writing a prime place in our education system. As a writer and a critic, what would you say is behind the resurgence in Nigerian literature that we are witnessing? A number of factors. The relative democratic freedom we are having, against the decades of military despotism that nearly deadened creativity in the past, is one factor that must be reckoned with. Related to that is the dispersal, exilic and migration phase necessitating what today you may see as the diasporisation of Nigerian literature.

Chinua Achebe and the Politics of Narration | SpringerLink

Not unrelated to that, of course, is the publishing and publicity capital, prizes and all, in the West that has triggered the resurgence. The Caine Prize, for instance, has a powerful influence on emerging voices in Nigeria, nay African literature. But that is one part of the story. The other part is that the Western capital almost controls the dominant taste of our literary and cultural production in such a way that it seems to me our literature is being colonised, or recolonised, when it is supposed to be an instrument for fighting imperialism.

How else do you explain the phenomenon that most of our best writers are cuddled in the comfort of the West, calibrated as Western commodities that must satisfy the desire of the West? In comparing the works of the present generation of writers and the previous generations, in what areas do you see a convergence and in which do you see a divergence? Is it in the deployment of language or thematic concerns?

Brittle Paper: How Do African Writers Make Money? Genre vs Literary Fiction

In both language and thematic concerns. As a social practice, literature flows with the tides, interacting and inter-animating other social practices that are core to the chemistry of the society. The past generation had some dominant concerns that this generation does not have. Globalisation, for instance, has a huge impact on both the style and the thematics of the present generation. As I said earlier, the shape our literature takes today is mostly determined by forces from the West.

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  • Anyway, you could argue that literature in European languages in Africa has always been a thing of the West. But there was a time in the history of our literature that there was a conscious, collective effort to valorise African tradition-based aesthetics. Do you sometimes feel that writers sacrifice language and aesthetic in order to champion a social cause in their works? Do you think this is a particular African concern that literature must champion social causes in order to have any relevance?

    Championing a social cause, itself, does not imply that language and aesthetics have to be undermined, sacrificed. Most great writers Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nadine Godimer, Wole Soyinka, Salman Rushdie, Ben Okri all have a social cause, are socially relevant, do actually pursue goals aimed at improving the condition of humanity in their works, in their lives.

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    And yet their works are distinguished by the fire of their language and aesthetics. The point is that a piece of writing is not literature without a solid literary language. So, those who are incapable of literary language or enchanting aesthetics are simply not cut out for creative writing. Most times, such people explain away their incompetence by saying they are more concerned about the message, the cause, than the language. This is what makes a great writer. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account.