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The Granta Book of the African Short Story


The Granta Book of the African Short Story introduces a group of African writers described by its editor, Helon Habila, as 'the post-nationalist generation'. Presenting a diverse and dazzling collection from all over the continent - from Morocco to Zimbabwe, Uganda to Kenya - Habila has focused on younger, newer writers, contrasted with some of their older, more established peers, to give a fascinating picture of a new and more liberated Africa.

Disdaining the narrowly ...

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The Granta Book of the African Short Story

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The Granta Book of the African Short Story introduces a group of African writers described by its editor, Helon Habila, as 'the post-nationalist generation'. Presenting a diverse and dazzling collection from all over the continent - from Morocco to Zimbabwe, Uganda to Kenya - Habila has focused on younger, newer writers, contrasted with some of their older, more established peers, to give a fascinating picture of a new and more liberated Africa.

Disdaining the narrowly nationalist and political preoccupations of previous generations, these writers are characterized by their engagement with the wider world and the opportunities offered by the internet, the end of apartheid, the end of civil wars and dictatorships, and the possibilities of free movement around the world. Many of them live outside Africa. Their work is inspired by travel and exile. They are liberated, global and expansive. As Dambudzo Marechera wrote: 'If you're a writer for a specific nation or specific race, then f*** you." These are the stories of a new Africa, punchy, self-confident and defiant.
Includes stories by:
Rachida el-Charni; Henrietta Rose-Innes; George Makana Clark; Ivan Vladislavic; Mansoura Ez-Eldin; Fatou Diome; Aminatta Forna; Manuel Rui; Patrice Nganang; Leila Aboulela; Zoe Wicomb; Alaa Al Aswany; Doreen Baingana; E.C. Osondu

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
A timely anthology of short stories [that] reveals the strength of contemporary African fiction. Ruth Franklin, Prospect (01/09/11)

Granta’s continuing energy and brio make it shine among publishers. Many of the writers deserve an audience beyond their national boundaries; Granta has manoeuvred itself into a unique position where it is the only publisher which not only can do this, but do it fantastically well. Helon Habila has made a good fist of an almost impossible task. The overall feel of this collection is big, brave and intricately interwoven … There is a clutch of terrific stories here for almost every kind of reader. Chris Dolan, Herald (03/09/11)
The majority of authors in the collection are lively and innovative and paint a good picture of emerging African talent … Granta’s new collection shows a generation of engaging and talented writers coming out of Africa. Habila suggests that with the spread of the internet across the continent in the past fifteen years, short fiction has found a new outlet for publication and will continue to gain exposure across the globe where previously it would never have done. Things can only get better, Habila hints, although to be honest they were pretty good to start with. Tom Little, Think Africa Press (06/09/11)
The skill and sophistication of African authors is on display throughout this rich and rewarding book.
Joan Smith, The Times (10/09/11)
Brings together some of the most exciting voices from this generation of Afropolitans. Ellah Allfrey, Daily Telegraph Review (10/09/11)
A sense of often painful transition echoes through these  snapshots; as does a defiance in the face of all that can be thrown at these modern Africans.  Siobhan Murphy, Metro Book of the Week (15/09/11)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781847084132
  • Publisher: Granta Books
  • Publication date: 5/1/2012
  • Pages: 378
  • Sales rank: 1,378,272
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Helon Habila was born in Nigeria. He has published three novels, Waiting for an Angel (2002), Measuring Time (2007) and Oil on Water (2010). Winner of the Caine Prize 2001, and the Commonwealth Writer's Prize 2003, Habila currently teaches Creative Writing at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, where he lives with his family.

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Read an Excerpt

The Granta Book of the African Short Story


Granta Books

ISBN: 9781847083333

The Arrangers of Marriage by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

My new husband carried the suitcase out of the taxi and led the way
into the brownstone, up a flight of brooding stairs, down an airless
hallway with frayed carpeting, and stopped at a door. The number
2B, unevenly fashioned from yellowish metal, was plastered on it.
‘We’re here,’ he said. He had used the word ‘house’ when he told me
about our home. I had imagined a smooth driveway snaking between
cucumber-coloured lawns, a door leading into a hallway, walls with
sedate paintings. A house like those of the white newlyweds in the
American films that NTA showed on Saturday nights.
He turned on the light in the living room, where a beige couch sat
alone in the middle, slanted, as though dropped there by accident.
The room was hot; old, musty smells hung heavy in the air.
‘I’ll show you around,’ he said.
The smaller bedroom had a bare mattress lodged in one corner.
The bigger bedroom had a bed and chest of drawers, and a phone on
the carpeted floor. Still, both rooms lacked a sense of space, as though
the walls had become uncomfortable with each other, with so little
between them.
‘Now that you’re here, we’ll get more furniture. I didn’t need that
much when I was alone,’ he said.
‘OK,’ I said. I felt light-headed. The ten-hour flight from Lagos to
PB085 African short stories.indd 1 21/06/2012 12:15
2 Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
New York and the interminable wait while the American customs
officer raked through my suitcase had left me woozy, stuffed my
head full of cotton wool. The officer had examined my foodstuffs as if
they were spiders, her gloved fingers poking at the waterproof bags
of ground egusi and dried onugbu leaves and uziza seeds, until she
seized my uziza seeds. She feared I would grow them on American
soil. It didn’t matter that the seeds had been sun-dried for weeks and
were as hard as a bicycle helmet.


Excerpted from The Granta Book of the African Short Story by Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

1. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (1977-) Nigeria, "The Arrangers Of Marriage"
2. Mansoura Ez Eldin (1976-) Egypt, "Faeries of the Nile"
3. Olufemi Terry (1973-) Sierra Leone, "Stickfighting Days"
4. Brian Chikwava (1972-) Zimbabwe, "Dancing with the Jazz Goblin and his Band"
5. Henrietta Rose-Innes (1971-) South Africa, "Promenade"
6. Uwem Akpan (1971-) Nigeria, "An Ex-Mas Feast"
7. Binyavanga Wainaina, (1971-) Kenya, "Ships in High Transit"
8. Patrice Nganang (1970-) Cameroun, "The Moustached Man"
9. Maaza Mengeste(1970-) Ethiopia, "The Good Soldier"
10. Fatou Diome (1968-) Senegal, "La Preference Nationale"
11. Leila Lalami (1968-) Morocco, "Homecoming"
12. Jean-Luc Raharimanana (1967-) Madagascar,"Excuses et dires liminaires de Za"
13. EC Osondu, Nigeria(?) "Bumsters"
14. Doreen Baingana (1966-) Uganda, "Passion"
15. Alain Mabanckou (1966-) Congo, "Nous Gagnerons La Coupe du Monde 2010"
16. Aminatta Forna (1964-) Sierra Leone, "Haywards Heath"
17. Leila Aboulela (1964-) Sudan, "Missing Out"
18. Yvonne Vera (1964-2005) Zimbabwe, "Why Don't you Carve Other Animals?"
19. Milly Jafta (?) Namibia, "Homecoming"
20. Rachida El Charni (?) Tunisia, "Street of the House of Wonders"
21. George Makana Clarke(?) Zimbabwe, "The Centre of the World"
22. Ivan Vladislavik (1957) South Africa, "Propaganda by Monuments"
23. Ala Al-Aswany (1957-)Egypt, "Mmme Zitta"
24. Ungulani Ba Ka Khosa (1957-) Mozambique, "Morte Inespereda"
25. Dambudzo Marechera (1952-1987) Zimbabwe, "Oxford, Black Oxford"
26.  Zoe Wicomb (1948-) South Africa, "You Can't Get Lost in Cape Town"
27. Abdulrazak Gurnah (1948-) Zanzibar, "Cages"
28. Manuel Rui (1941-) Angola, "Last Bordello"
29. Camara Laye (1928-1980) Guinea, "The Eyes of the Statue"
30. Alex La Guma (1925-1985) South Africa, "Slipper Satin"

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