• Lists,  Review

    5 Reasons Why I Loved Namwali Serpell’s The Old Drift

    In 2009, Namwali Serpell’s short story “Muzungu” published in Callaloo was selected for The Best American Short Stories 2009 and a year later it was shortlisted for the Caine Prize for African Writing (a prize she would go on winning five years later). Now, this story – reworked – sits in the middle of Serpell’s spellbinding, epic 560-pages long debut novel The Old Drift. After having finished it, I felt like I had just read five different books. It is so rich, brimming with ideas, fantastical in it turns.  While I am still gathering all my thoughts (for a more thorough review published elsewhere) and already planning a re-read, I want to share…

  • Review

    “All the ghosts of life/ assemble before us”

    This March started with a bang for poetry. On the first day of the month, University Press of Nebraska published Tjawangwa Dema’s debut collection The Careless Seamstress and Mahtem Shiferraw’s sophomore collection Your Body is War as part of the African Poetry Book Series. Both poets are deeply invested in interrogating the ways women experience this world and crafting a specific language and imagery to capture these experiences. Tjawangwa Dema’s chapbook Mandible had been included in the box set Seven New Generation African Poets five years ago – other poets of that group like Warsan Shire, Nick Makoha, and Ladan Osman have also gone on to publish celebrated works since. Now it is Dema’s turn…