The Latest Generation of African WritersAn exhibit for Spring Quarter 2015 at the Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies, Northwestern University
Author SpotlightsFocusing on ten writers, with interview extracts, other information, and links to books in our collection.
Serials & StudiesJournals, magazines, and anthologies specializing in African literature.
Author TalksView speeches from four of our authors. These speeches are also available on an iPad accompanying the exhibit.
Further ReadingThe exhibit features additional books on display for visitors to check out and take home.
In a recent New York Times article, entitled "New Wave of African Writers with an Internationalist Bent," Felicia R. Lee offers the following commentary on the newest generation of African authors:
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.This exhibit, which features materials drawn from the Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies, pays homage to these writers and other important voices in contemporary African literature.
Case 1, with Introduction and iPad display.
Case 2, with Further Reading books and a display of book jackets.
An exhibit at the Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies, Northwestern University, Spring Quarter 2015. Curated by Rita Wilkenfeld and Gene Kannenberg, Jr.