Home » Arts & Culture » Zim Writer Makes Africa39 List

Young Zimbabwean writer, Novuyo Rosa Tshuma, is among the list of 39 writers who are under 40 years selected for the Africa39 project aimed to celebrate the most vibrant voices in African literature. She is the only Zimbabwean to make the list.

Africa39 is part of the Port Harcourt Book Fair’s celebration for being the 2014 UNESCO World Book capital, and will culminate in the publication of an anthology, to be jointly published by the Hay Festival, The Rainbow BookClub, and Bloomsbury.

Tshuma’s first book, Shadows, is published in South Africa by Kwela Books and has since received rave reviews. She is currently a Maytag writing fellow at the prestigious Iowa Writers Workshop in the US where Shimmer Chinodya was a student in the 1980s and produced his famous novel, Harvest of Thorns.

“If there is one exciting thing about being part of Africa39, it’s the prospect of being published alongside one of my literary heroes Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I am glad to be in the company of great and wonderful writers,” Tshuma said.

However, Africa39 is not a roll call that sprung too many surprise entrants. Most of the nominees are writers already known in international literary circles. Some of the celebrated African writers mentioned include Chimamanda Ngozi, Dinaw Mengestu, Tope Folarin, Jackee Budesta Batanda, Monica Arac de Nyeko, Rotimi Babatunde, Chibundu Onuzo among others.

Zimbabwe’s NoViolet Bulawayo is omitted despite her towering accomplishments. She is the only black woman African writer to make the shortlist of the coveted Man Booker Prize for her maiden book, We Need New Names and has since bagged a string of awards along her glittering journey.

Africa39 is dominated by women, 22 out of 39, a cause for celebration as young African women writers are carving out prominence in an area once dominated by men. Historically, the celebrated architects of early African literature are men.

Twenty countries are represented by work created in a variety of African and European languages.

Source : Financial Gazette

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