Gods and Soldiers: The Penguin Anthology of Contemporary African Writing

Gods and Soldiers: The Penguin Anthology of Contemporary African Writing

Language: English

Pages: 368

ISBN: 0143114735

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

A one-of-a-kind collection showcasing the energy of new African literature

Coming at a time when Africa and African writers are in the midst of a remarkable renaissance, Gods and Soldiers captures the vitality and urgency of African writing today. With stories from northern Arabic-speaking to southern Zulu-speaking writers, this collection conveys thirty different ways of approaching what it means to be African. Whether about life in the new urban melting pots of Cape Town and Luanda, or amid the battlefield chaos of Zimbabwe and Somalia, or set in the imaginary surreal landscapes born out of the oral storytelling tradition, these stories represent a striking cross section of extraordinary writing. Including works by J. M. Coetzee, Chimamanda Adichie, Nuruddin Farah, Binyavanga Wainaina, and Chinua Achebe, and edited by Rob Spillman of Tin House magazine, Gods and Soldiers features many pieces never before published, making it a vibrant and essential glimpse of Africa as it enters the twenty-first century.

African Divination Systems: Ways of Knowing (African Systems of Thought)

Culture and Customs of Mali (Culture and Customs of Africa)

The Wretched of the Earth

Ghana's Concert Party Theatre

West with the Night

Chocolate Islands: Cocoa, Slavery, and Colonial Africa












exile within myself. Motionless. Solid. In my bed. In my body. Shrunken away from the world that I created. With images that surface and flow away, flakes of light that float away from me so that I cannot remember what I have already remembered and what I have yet to remember. Am I the stream or am I the stone and who steps on me, who wades through me, to whom do I drift down like pollen, like nectar, like a fragrance, always there are more contents to be ordered into coherence. Through the open

stood up. Perhaps this was a technique she had read about in the business pages somewhere, calculated to intimidate the opposition. “It has come to my attention,” she said, “that our workshop personnel are busily recreating beautiful replicas of apartheid memorabilia, when the ugly originals could be ours for the asking. I do not know what Mr. Sibeko’s policy on this question was, although the saga of the wooden AK-47s is full of suggestion, but as far as I’m concerned it’s an appalling waste of

their ideas and everything they had found into a hat, they said it was called brainstorming in the smart colleges some of them had been to in the USA, and each of them wrote down on a piece of paper several phrases that had gone down in the history of this shitty world, and started to go through them, like they do in countries where you have the right to vote, reading each one out in a monotonous voice under the authority of the chief negro, beginning with Louis XIV, who said “I am the State,”

had been exclusively the realm of the foreign and the unusual, but in my adolescence I discovered that it also included the close and the mundane. There were many people, many lives, many stories in books—things were delightfully more complicated. With a few exceptions, the school curriculum stayed away from contemporary Moroccan authors. This might have had something to do with the fact that some of our writers were directly or indirectly critical of the government, and had occasionally been

in herself, knew where she was going, and could see her goal. They were the footsteps of a woman wearing expensive leather shoes, with strong high heels, her feet arched in a feminine curve, rising up to full rounded legs, with a smooth, taut skin and not a single hair. No one would have easily recognized me. I looked no different from respectable, upper-class women. My hair had been done by a stylist who catered only to the rich. My lips were painted in the natural tone preferred by respectable

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