• Interview

    Podcast #9: Ayesha Harruna Attah

    Ayesha Harruna Attah is the writer of three novels. Her debut novel, Harmattan Rain, was shortlisted for the 2010 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, Africa Region. Her most recent novel, The Hundred Wells of Salaga, is a wonderful historical novel set in pre-colonial Ghana following two women whose fates intersect. This novel has been translated into several languages already. Her writing is also included in the grand New Daughters of Africa anthology. In this episode recorded during the African Book Festival Berlin, we talk about the making of The Hundred Wells of Salaga, the joys of research and the difficult task to decide what to keep out, what kind of history we are…

  • Lists

    October, November, December: 15(+) Most-Anticipated Books

    October and November are brimfull with exciting releases and that’s why I focussed on these two months and less in December. But these two month have everything from stimulating theory over captivating memoirs to wonderfully strange stories. 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. October Ordinary Girls (Jaquira Díaz) Synopsis: Ordinary Girls is a fierce, beautiful, and unflinching memoir from a wildly talented debut author.…

  • Interview

    Podcast #8: Safia Elhillo

    Safia Elhillo is an award-winning poet who performs regularly and whose writing has been published in various journals and anthologies, the New Daugthers of Africa anthology just being one of the latest one. In 2016, her chapbook Asmarani was included in the New Generation African Poets Box Set. Her debut collection The January Children, was published in 2017 and won the Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets. In 2018, she was awarded a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. Her latest book is the anthology Halal If You Hear Me. The Breakbeat Poets Vol. 3 which she co-edited with Fatimah Asghar. In this episode (recorded…

  • 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,…