Gods and Soldiers: The Penguin Anthology of Contemporary African Writing [NOOK Book]

Overview

A one-of-a-kind collection showcasing the energy of new African literature

Coming at a time when Africa and African writers are in the midst of a remarkable renaissance, Gods and Soldiers captures the vitality and urgency of African writing today. With stories from northern Arabic-speaking to southern Zulu-speaking writers, this collection conveys thirty different ways of approaching what it means to be African. Whether about life in the new ...
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Gods and Soldiers: The Penguin Anthology of Contemporary African Writing

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Overview

A one-of-a-kind collection showcasing the energy of new African literature

Coming at a time when Africa and African writers are in the midst of a remarkable renaissance, Gods and Soldiers captures the vitality and urgency of African writing today. With stories from northern Arabic-speaking to southern Zulu-speaking writers, this collection conveys thirty different ways of approaching what it means to be African. Whether about life in the new urban melting pots of Cape Town and Luanda, or amid the battlefield chaos of Zimbabwe and Somalia, or set in the imaginary surreal landscapes born out of the oral storytelling tradition, these stories represent a striking cross section of extraordinary writing. Including works by J. M. Coetzee, Chimamanda Adichie, Nuruddin Farah, Binyavanga Wainaina, and Chinua Achebe, and edited by Rob Spillman of Tin House magazine, Gods and Soldiers features many pieces never before published, making it a vibrant and essential glimpse of Africa as it enters the twenty-first century.


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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

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.
Library Journal

Spillman (editor, Tin House magazine) writes that he realized a few years ago that he was witnessing an African literary renaissance. Here, he includes well-known authors (such as Chinua Achebe) and lesser-known authors alike and organizes selections geographically by region. Each section begins with a nonfiction piece followed by several fictional works. Spillman opens with a brief introduction and finishes with short biographical notes. There are important and beautiful pieces here; however, many of the pieces are excerpted from longer works, and Spillman does not offer context beyond a short bit in his introduction to the book. The initial publication dates are not mentioned, and one essay dates back to 1965. For those unfamiliar with African political history and literatures, this collection is less than accessible. Still, it's a good jumping-off point that gets across Spillman's message-there's a whole lot of great stuff currently coming out of Africa that deserves exposure. Recommended for academic and larger public libraries.
—Audrey Snowden

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101050422
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 4/1/2009
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 368
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Rob Spillman is editor and cofounder of Tin House, a bicoastal literary magazine, executive editor of Tin House Books, and cofounder of the Tin House Literary Festival. His writing has appeared in The New York Times Book Review, Rolling Stone, and Salon, among others.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Introduction by Rob Spillman
Map of Africa

West Africa

Nonfiction

Chinua Achebe ♦ Nigeria
"The African Writer and the English Language"

Fiction

Helon Habila ♦ Nigeria
"Lomba"

Mohammed Naseehu Ali ♦ Ghana
"The Manhood Test"

Chris Abani ♦ Nigeria
from Becoming Abigail

E. C. Osondu ♦ Nigeria
"Voice of America"

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie ♦ Nigeria
from Half of a Yelllow Sun

Francophone Africa

Nonfiction

Patrice Nganang ♦ Cameroon
"The Senghor Complex"

Fiction

Alain Mabanckou ♦Republic of Congo
from Broken Glass

Fatou Diome ♦ Senegal
from The Belly of the Atlantic

Boubacar Boris Diop ♦ Senegal
from Murambi, The Book of Bones

North Africa

Nonfiction

Laila Lalami ♦ Morocco
"The Politics of Reading"

Fiction

Nawal El Saadawi ♦ Egypt
from Woman at Point Zero

Mohamed Magani ♦ Algeria
from The Butcher's Aesthetic

Aziz Chouaki ♦ Algeria
from The Star of Algiers

Leila Aboulela ♦ Sudan
"Souvenirs"

East Africa

Nonfiction

Binyavanga Wainaina ♦ Kenya
from Discovering Home

Fiction

Ngugi wa Thiong'o ♦ Kenya
from Wizard of the Crow

Doreen Baingana ♦ Uganda
"Christianity Killed the Cat"

Nuruddin Farah ♦ Somalia
from Knots

Abdourahman A. Waberi ♦ Djibouti
from The United States of Africa

Former Portuguese Colonies

Nonfiction

Mia Couto ♦ Mozambique
"Languages We Don't Know We Know"

Fiction

Ondjaki ♦ Angola
"Dragonfly"

Jose Eduardo Agualusa ♦ Angola
from The Book of Chameleons

Southern Africa

Nonfiction

J. M. Coetzee ♦ South Africa
"The Memoirs of Breyten Breytenbach"

Fiction

Yvonne Vera ♦ Zimbabwe
"Dead Swimmers"

Niq Mhlongo ♦ South Africa
from Dog Eat Dog

Nadine Gordimer ♦ South Africa
"A Beneficiary"

Marlene van Niekerk ♦ South Africa
from Agaat

Zakes Mda ♦ South Africa
from Ways of Dying

Ivan Vladislavic ♦ South Africa
"The WHITES ONLY Bench"

Biographical Notes

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