african internationalist

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These teachers go beyond the Ausar Auset Society like Medu Neter books.

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New Wave of African Writers With an Internationalist Bent - NYTimes.com

More than a decade ago, when the young Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was struggling to get her first novel, “Purple Hibiscus,” published, an agent told her that things would be easier “if only you were Indian,” because Indian writers were in vogue. Another suggested changing the setting from Nigeria to America. Ms. Adichie didn’t take this as commentary on her work, she said, but on the timidity of the publishing world when it came to unknown writers and unfamiliar cultures, especially African ones.

These days she wouldn’t receive that kind of advice. Black literary writers with African roots (though some grew up elsewhere), mostly young cosmopolitans who write in English, are making a splash in the book world, especially in the United States. They are on best-seller lists, garner high profile reviews and win major awards, in America and in Britain. Ms. Adichie, 36, the author of “Americanah,” which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction this year, is a prominent member of an expanding group that includes Dinaw Mengestu, Helen Oyeyemi, NoViolet Bulawayo, Teju Cole, Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor and Taiye Selasi, among others

Photos from top:

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie at the premiere, in Lagos, Nigeria, of the film “Half of a Yellow Sun,” based on her novel. Credit Image by Akintunde Akinleye/Reuters

Ishmael Beah, the author of a memoir about the Sierra Leone civil war and now a novel, “The Radiance of Tomorrow.” Credit Image by Mark Lennihan/Associated Press

The Ethiopian-born novelist Dinaw Mengestu in 2010, when his book “How to Read the Air” was published. Credit Image by Ed Ou for The New York Times