Man Booker shortlisted author Chigozie Obioma, author and curator Irenosen Okojie, author Bernadine Evaristo and award-winning poet Raymond Antrobus are among the writers on the line-up for next month's Africa Writes.
The UK's biggest celebration of contemporary African writing will return to the British Library from Friday 5th July to Sunday 7th July, with three headline events and 60 of the most influential African writers and thought leaders.
The festival, now in its eighth year, will explore a cross-section of themes and critical ideas about African literature today. Key topics emerging in this year’s festival programme include cosmology, masculinity and fatherhood, mental health and Africans in Europe.
Obioma (pictured) will headline this year’s Africa Writes. Closing the festival on Sunday, 7 July, Obioma will talk about his writing, Igbo cosmology and the blurred lines between myth and reality in his latest novel An Orchestra of Minorities (Little, Brown). The event will open with an evocative staged reading of Obioma’s critically acclaimed debut novel, The Fishermen (One), followed by an in-conversation led by award-winning author and curator Irenosen Okojie.
Obioma said: “I'm really excited to be a part of this celebration of the written word and to be in company of a cohort of writers from Africa. I'm certain those three days will be like being at a concert in Lagos while in London.”
Africa Writes 2019 will open on Friday 5th July, with Our Bodies Speak Poetry. The event will feature Raymond Antrobus, Adesola Akinleye, Caleb Femi, Jessica Horn, Miss Jacqui, Fatimah Kelleher, Nick Makoha, Sitawa Namwalie, Koleka Putuma and Belinda Zhawi. This event will be BSL interpreted.
On Saturday 6th July, the evening headline event, delivered in partnership with the Royal Society of Literature, will celebrate Margaret Busby’s landmark anthology, New Daughters of Africa. The anthology, which brings together the work of over 200 African women writers, will be brought to life by a panel of award-winning contributing authors including Bernardine Evaristo, Nadifa Mohamed, Ay bámi Adébáy and Namwali Serpell.