Articles tagged "Africa"


PEN World Voices Festival As It Happened: \“In and Out of Africa\”

Photo: Molly Leon/PEN American Center Regular attendees at PEN World Voices know that the advertised theme of a panel may have little relation with what you end up hearing from the...

PEN World Voices Festival As It Happened: \“African Poets: The New Generation\”

On Thursday evening at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, an eager crowd settled in to hear a discussion about Eight New-Generation African Poets, a box set of chapbooks just released last month. Although...

The Prodigal Father

Tomáš Zmeškal’s father was a Congolese intellectual who traveled to the capital of Communist Czechoslovakia in 1959 to win support for the soon-to-be independent Republic...

The Curse of the South

“Two kinds of people live in this city: The ones who were born here, and those who came here, fleeing something. Me, I wasn’t born here!” When his fever peaked and he started to...

On the Fourth Day

He arrived on a golden-yellow tricycle and offered to tow me. Frail sexagenarian, sickly thin frame, angular face, his craggy skin suggesting an old case of the chickenpox. A lightly broken-in cowboy...

Cyarwa cya nyarwaya

Cyarwa is the birthplace of my mother. She left when she was two years old and came back when she was forty, accompanied by her older brother. This poem is the story of their return after years of...

Poor Grandpa!

I never wanted to remember at all, let alone write about, what transpired when I took a walk with Grandpa to the sprawling Kariobangi slum area, that part of the slum known as Korogocho. I...

\“Friendship is a religion\”

Tahar Ben Jelloun was born in the city of Fès in 1944. He attended an Arabic-French elementary school, studied French in Tangier until the age of eighteen, then studied philosophy and wrote...

The Beginning and End of the Oil Curse?

Why does oil wealth so often become a curse for developing states?  In the developing world, oil-producing states are fifty percent more likely to be ruled by autocrats, and more than twice as...

When Can We Be Sane?

We reel shamelessly in joyful shrillness For the gloomy glimmer of blinking lights Nursing our failing consciences In the cold slab of childish ego   I remember...

Support the Publication of Geoff Wisner’s \\\“African Lives\\\”

Words without Borders is pleased to announce that writer, editor, and WWB contributor Geoff Wisner's second book, African Lives: An Anthology of Memoirs and Autobiographies, will be...

A Memoir Disguised as a Novel

Harper Perennial, which reissued A Life Full of Holes in 2008, describes it on the cover as “the first novel ever written in the Arabic dialect Moghrebi.” Yet there is more than a...

Illustrating Conflict: Perspectives from FIBDA

Under the heading "Algiers, Bubbles without Frontiers," this year's International Comics Festival of Algiers (Festival International de la Bande Dessinée d'Alger, or FIBDA) provides...

from “Passage of Tears”

[Translators’ note: This excerpt, taken almost entirely from the first chapter, presents one voice in a polyphonic novel. The other main voice is that of this narrator’s twin brother, a...

French


Rwanda: The Flame of Hope

1 The sunny side of life Recently one evening, as trails of ochre tinged with mauve kept stretching late into the sky of Mantua, I found myself face to face with Predrag Matvejević, the...

From “Mezzanine”

The pages that follow were found by me in a sorry state of disorder, amidst a number of other worthless papers, spotted with tropical mildew, ready for the fire, in the basement of a bookstore...

Blizzard in the Jungle

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Sweating and Swearing in “Clash of Civilizations”

In the opening chapter of Amara Lakhous's gritty mosaic, Clash of Civilizations over an Elevator in Piazza Vittorio, Parviz Mansoor interrupts his rambling monologue to comment on the way...

An Introduction to Clash of Civilizations Over an Elevator in Piazza Vittorio

"Doesn't make any difference who we are or what we are," a cholera germ announces in one of Twain's stories, "there's always somebody to look down on!" No recent novel illustrates the...

from “Agaat”

The first time you slept with Jak was the day after he came to declare his intentions to your parents. He was eager to get away that morning after the engagement, eager to get away from under...

The Last Farm Novel?: An Interview with Michiel Heyns

I met Michiel Heyns—author, translator, and professor of English at Stellenbosch University from 1987 until 2003—last year when he was here in the U.S. as a visiting professor at...

Electric Africa

Brian Eno once famously remarked that the problem with computers is that there isn't enough Africa in them. I kind of think that it's the opposite: they're bringing the ideals of...

The Best Seller

On the phone he said he was a young writer who wished to speak with a representative of Ilhéu Publishing and, for lack of anyone else at the time, I made myself available to see him. Shortly...

The Best Seller

He described himself down the phone as a young writer who was keen to meet with a representative of Ilhéu Publishing, and in the absence of anyone else at that moment I agreed to receive...

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