Africa Writes Back: The African Writers Series & the Launch of African Literature

June 17, 2008, is the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart by Heinemann. This publication provided the impetus for the foundation of the African Writers Series in 1962 with Chinua Achebe as the editorial adviser. This narrative, drawing liberally on the correspondence with the authors, concentrates on the adventurous first twenty-five years.

Africa Writes Back: The African Writer’s Series & the Launch of African Literature captures the energy of literary publishing in a new and undefined field. Portraits of the leading characters and the many consultants and readers providing reports and advice to new and established writers make Africa Writes Back a stand-out book. James Currey’s voice and insights are an added bonus.

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Gathering Seaweed: African Prison Writing (African Writers Series)

This anthology introduces the African literature of incarceration to the general reader, the scholar, the activist and the student. The visions and prison cries of the few African nationalists imprisoned by colonialists, who later became leaders of their independent dictatorships and in turn imprisoned their own writers and other radicals, are brought into sharper focus, thereby critically exposing the ironies of varied generations of the efforts of freedom fighters.

Extracts of prose, poetry and plays are grouped into themes such as arrest, interrogation, torture, survival, release and truth and reconciliation.

Contributors include: Kunle Ajibade, Obafemi Awolowo, Steve Biko, Breyten Breytenbach, Dennis Brutus, Nawal El Saadawi, M J Kariuki, Kenneth Kaunda, Caesarina Kona Makhoere, Nelson Mandela, Emma Mashinini, Felix Mnthali, Augustino Nato, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Kwame Nkrumah, Abe Sachs, Ken Saro Wiwa, Wole Soyinka, and Koigi wa Wamwere.

Although an often harrowing indictment of the history, culture and politics of the African continent and the societies from which this literature comes, the anthology presents excellent prose, poetry and drama, which stands up in its own right as serious literature to be cherished, read and studied.

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Junior African Writers Series Bookset Levels 1 – 4 (16 titles)

Develop literacy skills in your 8-17 year olds with exciting and engaging books for all reading levels.

The sentence structure and vocabulary has been carefully constructed to suit your students experience and age so that as they grow, so do their literacy abilities.

Titles in this set include (likely to change due to availability of titles):

Taxi to Johannesburg — Matlakala Bopape and Peta Constable (Level 1)

The Big Fight — Michael Cullup (Level 1)

The Frightened Thief — Amu Djoleto (Level 1)

The Midnight Caller — Anthony Umelo (Level 2)

The Hyena Valley — The Hyena Valley (Level 2)

The Secret of Nkwe Hill — Marcus Khama ter Haar (Level 2)

The Smile Thief — Fatou Keita (Level 2)

The Magic Pool — Gaele Mogwe (Level 2)

Happy the Street Child — F.M. Mlekwa (Level 2)

Kodua’s Ark — Yaw Ababio Boateng (Level 3)

The Ashanti Golden Stool — Ayebia Ribeiro-Ayeh (Level 3)

The Haunted Taxi Driver — Kofi Sekyi (Level 3)

Valley of Skulls — Anokye Wiredu (Level 3)

The Secret Valley — Mike Sadler (Level 4)

Paulo’s Strange Adventure — Barbara Kimenye (Level 4)

The Ivory Poachers — Linda Pfotenhauer (Level 5)

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