• Interview

    Podcast #7: Zeba Talkhani

    Zeba Talkhani’s memoir My Past is a Foreign Country: A Muslim Feminist Finds Herself was published at the end of June and received blurbs by writers such as Meena Kandasamy and Ironesen Okojie. One of her previous essays, “The Difficulty in Being Good”, was part of the anthology Nasty Women. A Collection of Essays + Accounts On What It Is To Be A Woman In The 21st Century. In 2016 Zeba hosted Muslim Women Speak in London, “a micro-festival of interactive sessions curated, chaired and presented exclusively by Muslim women.” She has earned a degree in publishing and currently works as a production editor at Bloomsbury Academic. In this episode, we talk…

  • Interview

    Podcast #6: Leslie Kuo

    Leslie Kuo describes herself on her website as “a librarian, a designer, a translator, and both a first and second generation immigrant”. Currently she works at the Berlin-Pankow Public Library District. She is part of the management team and responsible for a programme on ‘intercultural opening’ (a term we discuss within the podcast). For her thesis, Kuo interviewed library staff with ‘immigration background’ in Berlin and analysed their experiences. Kuo is also a member of the International Federation of Libraries and Associations where she is the information coordinator of the section “Library Services to Multicultural Populations”. In our conversation we discussed different aspects of how to create a library which…

  • Lists

    July, August, September: 15(+) Most-Anticipated Books

    The second half of 2019 began already a couple of days ago but I only now managed to finish my list of anticipated reads for July, August, and September. While July brings some really great publications, August and September promise to be unbelievably good book months. I could hardly choose which books to feature. Like always, I share brief descriptions of each book (either from Goodreads or the publisher’s page, sometimes abridged) and in a few words why I am excited about it! I introduce my five top picks for each month and name a few additional titles because there are just so many promising books. July Shapes of Native…

  • Discussion,  Review

    A Month of Reading Exclusively Queer Literature – 50 Years After Stonewall

    On the night from the 27th of June to 28th of June 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn at Christopher Street in New York City. The raid sparked resistance and a revolt against police violence over the following days. The exact sequence of events from these days and especially of the early morning hours at the 28th is difficult to retrace today. Even though, it is important to note that the riot involved prominently BPoC trans women and drag queens, sex workers, butch drag kings etc. Morgan M Page, writer and host of the trans history podcast One From the Vaults, writes in her article “It Doesn’t Matter Who Threw the…

  • Interview

    Podcast #5: Novuyo Rosa Tshuma

    Novuyo Rosa Tshuma’s debut novel House of Stone was published in 2018 to much acclaim. It has been awarded the 2019 Edward Stanford Travel Writing Award for Fiction with a Sense of Place, and was shortlisted for the 2019 Orwell Prize for Political Fiction and the 2019 Dylan Thomas Prize. Before the novel, Tshuma had already published a novella and short fiction in various outlets. She is also a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and is currently working on her PhD. Tshuma is the fiction editor for The Bare Life Review, “a literary biannual devoted entirely to work by immigrant and refugee authors”. We sat down in April during the African Book Festival Berlin and…

  • Interview

    Podcast #4: Ellah Wakatama Allfrey

    Ellah Wakatama Allfrey is a former deputy editor at Granta magazine and former senior editor at Jonathan Cape, Random House. She has edited anthologies such as Africa 39. New Writing from Africa South of the Sahara and Safe House. Creative Non-Fiction From Africa. Allfrey has been a judge for a variety of literary prizes such as Man Booker, Dublin International Literary Award, and Commonwealth Short Story Prize. This year, she was appointed as the new chairwoman of the Caine Prize for African Writing. Furthermore, Ellah Wakatama Allfrey is the founding Publishing Director of The Indigo Press, a very exciting, fairly new-ish publisher. We sat down in April during the African Book Festival Berlin and talked about…

  • Discussion

    Brilliant Achilles, shining Achilles – Greek myths, women’s voices, and colonial violence

    In “The Public Voice of Women”, the classicist Mary Beard writes about a text by Aristophanes: “Part of the joke was that women couldn’t speak properly in public – or rather, they couldn’t adapt their private speech […] to the lofty idiom of male politics”. Beard examines in her text how (Western) ideas about public speech and debate are infused with ideas (“conventions and rules”) developed in ancient Greece and Rome. Analyzing exemplary texts, she argues that public speaking and oratory was not only a practice women were barred from but even more so “exclusive practices and skills that defined masculinity as a gender”. When I read through her analysis,…

  • Review

    Moving Through the World (Happy?) Fat

    Last year in July, I almost fainted when I saw Danish UK-based comedian Sofie Hagen perform in Berlin. Now my near collapsing wasn’t so much swooning – though Sofie Hagen might merit that – but due to being stuck in a very small, very hot, and pretty much void of oxygen venue. But still, in the end, I was very glad I had persevered because Hagen’s show made me laugh full heartedly, giggle, and tear up.  In a short amount of time, Hagen managed to tell a story of growing up in Denmark, the relationship to her body, and the experience of sexualized violence. Before that performance, I had watched…

  • Lists

    Women’s Prize for Fiction: My Personal Shortlist

    Tonight at midnight the Women’s Prize for Fiction shortlist will be announced. So, a few hours left to be cheer for one’s favourite books on the list and guess what will actually make the cut. During the last two months, I have read (almost) all books of the longlist I had not yet read. Having worked my way through the list, I can say that I appreciate the variety in styles and themes. Although I  also questioned the inclusion of some titles (especially when thinking about some ommissions from the list). I tried to categorize all the books and within each category, they are roughly sorted from ‘liked most’ to ‘liked least’.…

  • Interview

    Podcast #3: Namwali Serpell

    Namwali Serpell is an award-winning author and associate professor of English at UC Berkeley.  Her first published story, “Muzungu,” was selected for The Best American Short Stories 2009, shortlisted for the 2010 Caine Prize. Five years later she won the Caine Prize with her story „The Sack“. Her debut novel, The Old Drift, was published in March to much acclaim. (I wrote about five aspects I loved about The Old Drift.) Serpell also regularly publishes essays such as “The Banality of Empathy” or “Beauty Tips From My Dead Sister“. We talked about crossing genres, writing diverse female experiences, mosquitos, re-evaluating history, and why empathy is not everything.  This episode was recorded during the African Book…