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Round Table on African Literature


Ledikasyon pu Travayer held an evening ROUND TABLE ON AFRICAN LITERATURE on Wednesday this week, 14 December. Everyone present told about and brought along books that they wanted other people know about and to read.

The authors spoken about varied from Egyptians in the North like two women writers Ahdaf Soueif and Nawal El Sadaawi, to writers from South Africa like Njabulo Ndebele and Andre Brink, from Chimamanda Ngozi Adechie from Nigeria to Tsitsi Dangrembga from Zimbabwe. Conversation was informal, and the level of discussion varied from people giving a glimpse of the plot, or the concerns, or people saying "I started that one but didn't finish it" to thorough evalutions and to contrasts between novels.

Favourites varied from The Beautiful Ones Are Not Yet Born by Ayi Kwei Armah to Sembene Ousmane God's Bits of Wood, from the Doris Lessing set of four titles Children of Violence to Tayeb Salih's Migrations to the North. People also discussed for their own work and their influence Chinua Achebe, especially liking Things Fall Apart and, Ngugi wa Thiong'o. Others mentioned included Binyavanga Wainana, who writes and who also edits Kwani? and Bessie Head, JM Coetzee and Ananda Devi, who's new novel one participant present had already started reading.

Conversation also meandered often to Asian writers, especially from India and Pakistan.

We found that people present had tended to read different authors, only a few overlapping.

The next session some time next year will be on Mauritian writers.