Voices that Sing Behind the Veil: Anthology of Short Stories from Africa and the Diaspora (Hardcover)

This 684-page collection is published in collaboration with the Pan African Writers Association which is based in Accra and affiliated to the continental body, the African Union.

The fifty-six stories come from fifteen African countries and elsewhere; Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Burkina Faso and East of the continent, Uganda, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo in the Great Lakes region, Ethiopia and Tanzania (in setting). They bring in other voices in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Botswana, Malawi, St. Maarten, United States and Britain. The themes are amok and definitely so in a vein of free expression. There are stories of love (of even a man who finds one whilst visiting a dying cancer-patient wife at the hospital in Lagos) or of a husband wrongfully imprisoned in Malawi who upon escape from jail confronts a wife about to wed again, a story very reminiscent of the main character in Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s, Weep Not, Child.

There is hate and there is poverty – one from Kenya which reads like the Zimbabwean novelist, Dambudzo Marechera’s 1978 classic, The House of Hunger. Issues of mental health, corpse donation for scientific research and Coronavirus-19 are addressed alongside Pentecostal redemption, fake prophets and the havoc they exert on societies as do their counterparts in Islam.

Contributing writers include distinguished and award-winning writers, academics and emerging talents such Zaynab Alkali (Nigeria), Ben Okri (UK/Nigeria), Molefi Kete Asante (US), Wesley Macheso (Malawi), Ogochukwu Promise (Nigeria), Grace Maguri (Zimbabwe), Athol Williams (South Africa), Martin Egblewogbe (Ghana), Esther K Mbithi (Kenya), Mary Ashun (Ghana), Wale Okediran (Nigeria) among others.

“These extraordinary stories, mesmerising and beautifully written, are surely connected to a past that remains with us, the experiences of day-to-day living and the limitless imaginings of our futures. The discerning editor combines stories that communicate appreciation with apprehension, presence with essence… a good read.” – Toyin Falola, Historian and the Jacob and Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair, University of Texas, Austin

The anthology features best-selling author and professor of literature Zaynab Alkali as headline writer, Booker Prize Laureate Ben Okri, the Chair of Department of Africology at Temple University in the US, Molefi Kete Asante, and a younger generation of award-winning novelists, poets and playwrights such as the Nigerian Ogochukwu Promise, Ghanaian author Martin Egblewogbe (of Writers Projects of Ghana), Sackey Sowah, for years NAFTI-GTV short story delight, and Mary Ashun, the Principal of the Ghana International School.

Other contributors are South African scholar, poet and novelist Athol Williams, the French-South African retired University Lecturer and poet living in East London, Sobhna Poonathe, President of the Malawi Writers’ Union, Chikumbutso Ndaferankhande, writer-critic of Stellenbosch University, Wesley Macheso and others from the Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Uganda, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Botswana, St. Maarten and the United States.

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