Voices that Sing Behind the Veil: Anthology of Short Stories from Africa and the Diaspora (Hardcover)
Available on backorder
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.
Ivor AGYEMAN-DUAH is a development specialist and former special advisor on international development cooperation to the Ghanaian President, John Agyekum Kufuor. He is a visiting Associate Professor at the University of Johannesburg and author and co-editor of, Pilgrims of the Night: Development Challenges and Opportunities in Africa, Africa – A Miner’s Canary into the Twenty-First Century – Essays on Economic Governance and An Economic History of Ghana- Half a Century of Challenges and Progress.
Agyeman-Duah serves as Chair of the Advisory Board of the Heritage and Cultural Society of Africa and is a Member of the International Advisory Board of the University of Oxford’s African Studies Centre.
He has served as visiting Research Fellow at the Exeter College of the University of Oxford and the Hutchins Institute at Harvard University. He holds graduate degrees from the London School of Economics, the School of Oriental and African Studies, London and the University of Wales.
Martin Egblewogbe was born in Ghana in 1975. He has a Ph.D in Physics and works at the University of Ghana, Legon where he is a lecturer in the Department of Physics. He enjoys writing short stories and poetry in his spare time and has contributed to several anthologies.
He also currently hosts the radio show “Writers Project” on CitiFM in Accra, Ghana.
Martin currently lives with his wife and two children in Accra. Martin Egblewogbe’s stories and poetry have appeared in newspapers, anthologies, and several works of his are available online. A number of his stories have won awards and commendations.
Originally self-published as 'Mr Happy and the Hammer of God', Martin’s collection of short stories was re-issued by Ayebia Clarke Publishing Ltd. in 2012 as “Mr Happy and the Hammer of God and Other Stories”. In 2010, Martin Egblewogbe and Laban Carrick Hill co-edited the anthology of poetry, “Look Where You Have Gone To Sit” (Woeli, 2010). His second collection of short stories, 'The Waiting' was released in 2020.
Mary Ashun was born and raised in Ghana. She earned her B.Sc. from the University of East London, U.K, her B.Ed. from University of Toronto, and her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from University of Buffalo. She taught & led schools in Ontario for over 20 years before assuming the Headship of Ghana International School in Accra. In 2008 Mary Ashun won an African Canadian Women’s Achievement Award for her work in education. Dr. Ashun has over ten novels/short stories published including Tuesday’s Child, Stubborn Kwame, Serwa Akoto’s
Diary and Mistress Of The Game. Her short story African Connection is featured in The God’s Who Send Us Gifts, an anthology of stories by African writers including Ama Ata Aidoo, Sefi Atta and Boubacar Boris Diop edited by Ivor Agyeman Dua with the forward by the renowned Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka. Mary and her husband Joe are parents to 3 grown sons.
Ogochukwu Promise, who is Founder of The Lumina Foundation, Administrators of the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa and its Chief Executive, is an award winning novelist, poet and painter.
Wale Okediran is a Nigerian author of many novels, short story collections, biographies and a collection of travel stories many of which have won National and International Literary awards.
He was commissioned in 2001 by Longman Nigeria PLC to write a series of novella for school children on HIV/AIDS Awareness. His award-winning novel, Tenants of the House has just been made into a movie directed by Kunle Afolayan.
Okediran who is a medical doctor by training, is a former Member of the House of Representatives and a past National President of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA). He is currently the Secretary-General of the Pan African Writers Association (PAWA).