BookJam 3 @ Silverbird

“The BookJam @ Silverbird” is a monthly event that consists of book readings, discussions,  musical performances, poetry recitals, book signings and a raffle draw.
The BookJam is hosted by A. Igoni Barrett and the Silverbird Lifestyle store.
The third edition of “The BookJam @ Silverbird” will hold between 3 to 5 pm on Saturday 24 April  2010 at the Silverbird Lifestyle store, Silverbird Galleria, Victoria Island, Lagos.
The guest writers are:
• Karen King-Aribisala, author of The Hangman’s Game;
• Uzor Maxim Uzoatu, author of God of Poetry;
• Wole Oguntokun, author of Gbanja Roulette.
Admission to the BookJam is free. Members of the audience who purchase books during the event  stand a chance to win a special prize in a raffle draw.
For more information send an email to


Uzor Maxim Uzoatu is the author of several books, including God of Poetry and Doctor of Football. He was the 1989 Distinguished Visitor at the Graduate School of Journalism, University of Western Ontario, Canada, and is the chairman of the editorial board of News Star newspaper. His short story “Cemetery of Life” was nominated for the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2008.

Karen King-Aribisala was born in Guyana. Her first book, Our Wife and Other Stories, won the “Best First Book Prize” (Africa Region) in the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize of 1990/91. Her most recent novel, The Hangman’s Game, was awarded the “Best Book Prize” (Africa Region) in the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize of 2008. She is the current head of the English Department, University of Lagos.

Wole Oguntokun is the author of many stage plays including Gbanja Roulette and The Return of Sogidi. He has produced several local TV programmes and was a producer on Season 2 and 4 of the pan-African TV show, “Moments with Mo”. He is the artistic director of Theatre@Terra. He writes a weekly column in The Guardian called “The Girl Whisperer”.

Farafina Author Nnedi Okorafor profiled in Publishers Weekly

Of course our authors at Farafina Books are our champions so we are always so elated to share all the good news we can get our hands on with all of you.  Nnedi Okorafor is the author of Zahrah the Windseeker (more on that later!) a Farafina title, and one of the few African science fiction books out there.  Last month she was featured in American publishing bible Publisher’s Weekly and we luckily have the excerpt below.

A Nigerian Sorceress Makes Her Way
By Mikki Kendall — Publishers Weekly

Nnedi Okorafor’s gentle demeanor is so disarming that it’s impossible not to relax in her company. The Chicago State University professor has a sweet smile, three graduate degrees, numerous awards and prize nominations for her writing, and a razor-sharp mind that is changing the face of speculative fiction. The latter soon becomes apparent when the discussion turns to genocide, rape, female circumcision, fantasy, and Nigerian culture.

Born in the U.S. to Nigerian immigrants, Okorafor, 36, grew up in the same suburb of Chicago where she now resides with her own daughter. As a child, she was mostly interested in sports and the sciences, dreaming of becoming an entomologist, but she was always fond of reading, and by age 12, she found her mind had been “corrupted by genius white male storytellers” like Stephen King and Clive Barker. “I was working my way through the library reading whatever caught my eye,” Okorafor recalls fondly. “I read a lot of books that I definitely had no business reading at that age.” A writing class in college sparked her creativity and while obtaining an M.A. in journalism and an M.A. and Ph.D. in English, Okorafor began to write the stories she always wanted to read.

Okorafor’s books feature the cultural and social touchstones of her youth: Nigeria, strong girls and women, and the strange, beautiful lives of plants and insects. The YA novel Zahrah the Windseeker (Houghton Mifflin, 2005), which won the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature, is a classic magical quest set in a world in which Earth is a legend and everything from clothing to computers grows from seeds. In the Parallax Award–winning The Shadow Speaker, her second YA, a Muslim teen in West Africa must avert interplanetary war.

Okorafor’s first adult novel, Who Fears Death, which will be published in June by DAW Books, combines science fiction and fantasy in the story of Onyesonwu, a young sorceress making her way in a postapocalyptic future Saharan Africa where men use rape as a tool to eradicate a culture on the genetic level. “Who Fears Death addresses the push and pull in African culture that powerful women face when their culture has certain duties and beliefs that can stifle them,” Okorafor says.

As she channels the past, present, and future into one complex tale, Okorafor walks a fine line between sincere respect and unstinting examination of tradition: mixing futuristic technology with magic rooted in the beliefs of Nigerian, Tanzanian, and other African cultures, exploring why many women willingly practice female circumcision and see it as a necessary rite of passage even as others find it horrific. These somber themes seem a drastic departure from her previous work, but Okorafor refuses to gloss over the realities on which she builds her fiction.

Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor, PhD.

“What initially brought me Onyesonwu’s character,” she explains, “was reading a WashingtonPost news story:  ‘ “We Want to Make a Light Baby”: Arab Militiamen in Sudan Said to Use Rape as Weapon of Ethnic Cleansing.’ I wondered what these children would be like, what would their struggles be, how would they survive, who would they grow up to be. And that’s when Onyesonwu came to me to tell her story.” Okorafor adds, “I am not trying to be shocking or exceedingly graphic. Onyesonwu’s story was told to me in just this way and she is not one to tell lies, embellish, or mince words.”

Okorafor’s upcoming projects include a YA novel that Penguin will publish in 2011, Akata Witch, with a focus on the tension between African-Americans and Africans as well as “deep, deep Nigerian witchcraft”; two screenplays in collaboration with award-winning Nigerian film director Tchidi Chikere; and a science fiction novella set in Nigeria. She also has plans for another adult novel. “I’ll know what that one is about when I start writing it,” Okorafor says. “When it comes, it’ll come like a tidal wave.”

LAGOS: 2060

culled from The Bookaholic Blog

As Nigeria celebrates 50 years of independence in the year 2010, the nation’s history remains closely related to the growth of Lagos as an urban center. Lagos 2060 is a project designed to creatively capture the essence of Lagos in futuristic scenarios, well grounded in the city’s origins and present urban renewal efforts. The project will engage young persons with strong creative writing abilities in workshops that will touch on architectural and urban planning theories and concepts, historical overview of the city’s growth, ideas and tips for science fiction writing. The workshops will be interactive and will be led by the duo of Ayodele Arigbabu and James George. There will be three monthly workshops during which participants will be encouraged to produce exciting short fiction based on the theme and an anthology of the most remarkable of the participants’ works will be selected, published and distributed by DADA books in 2011.

Lagos: 2060 refers to a fictional / futuristic take on the city of Lagos. What will Lagos evolve into in the next fifty years taking into consideration the mega city’s rich history and current urban renewal efforts by the State Government? What will it be like to live in Lagos 100 years after Nigeria gained independence from the British?

• Three workshop sessions spread over three months for talented young persons.
• Continuous online exchange will be maintained during the duration of the project to give the participants access to the facilitators through the DADA books blog, facebook group page and email exchange.
• The works found most engaging will be selected, edited, illustrated and published in an anthology titled Lagos: 2060 by our publishing imprint- DADA books.

• Young creative persons are encouraged to signify their interest in participating in the workshops by sending an email with ‘LAGOS 2060_interest’ as title and a sample of their writing of not more than 300 words to until the 18th of April 2010. Interested participants should be committed to making themselves available for the workshop dates and meeting up with the creative writing exercises planned for the duration.
• The first workshop will hold on Saturday 24th April 2010 (at the Center For Excellence in Film and Media Studies, 44A Palm Avenue, MKO Abiola Gardens, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos) and the facilitators will make presentations and lead the participants in discussions on the highlighted areas of history, urban planning / infrastructure, and creative writing / science fiction. The interaction will continue online through the dedicated blog and email exchanges between the facilitators and the participants as the participants plot and develop their short stories set in Lagos in the year 2060.
• The second workshop will hold on Saturday 22nd May 2010. This workshop will serve as a mid-term review of the first draft of the writing carried out by the participants up until that date. The participants will be given extra tips on how to fine tune their stories based on examples taken from amongst their works.
• The participants will submit their short fiction on or before the 19th of June 2010, the day of the third and final session during which they would present their works and share experiences in an extended peer review session.
• Announcements would follow on the selected works and publication details from DADA books.

1. James George- Architect, urban researcher and theorist on the growth and development of Lagos,
CEO, HUB CT Technologies.
2. Ayodele Arigbabu- Architect, author and publisher, DADA books.
3. Chris Ihidero- Coordinator, Center for Excellence in Film & Media Studies.

1. Studio 1.5
2. Dream Arts & Design Agency (DADA books)
3. Center for Excellence in Film & Media Studies

Ayodele Arigbabu
Dream Arts & Design Agency
1st Floor, 95 Bode Thomas Street,
Surulere, Lagos, Nigeria.
Telephone: 234-01-7451990
Mobile: 234-803-3000499