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Spillman, editor and cofounder of lit journal Tin House, brings together a diaspora full of urgency and possibility, featuring recent fiction and nonfiction (mostly fiction) from 30 African authors. First up is Chinua Achebe, author of the groundbreaking Things Fall Apart, looking at North African writers often excluded from the canon, reminding readers that Africa is far from homogeneous (entries come translated from Arabic, Zulu, French and other languages). Each piece finds a human story to illuminate the continent's history of plight and promise, turning up a range of voices: Helon Habila's breathtaking tale of a political prisoner forced to write poems for the prison superintendent's girlfriend; a scene from Ngugi wa Thong'o's novel Wizard of the Crow depicting an Orwellian celebration for an unnamed ruler; Patrice Nganang's essay "The Senghor Complex" examining the influence of poet Léopold Senghor, Senegal's first president ("[for] writers of my generation," he's "everyone's grandfather"). This collection sheds light on a multifarious continent too often thought of in one-size-fits-all terms. (May)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.