Books and Food at #GrillandRead

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Calling all book (and food) lovers! There’s something in store for you this Saturday, August 27. Come join us at #BookandGrill for a delicious and insightful time. There will be:

– Games
– Spoken word performances
– Grilled food to eat
– Free drinks
– A book auction for charity
– Farafina titles available for sale

Date: Saturday, 27 August 2016
Time: 3 PM – 7 PM
Venue: The Rooftop, CC Hub, 294 Herbert Macaulay Road Yaba, Lagos
Tickets: N1,500 (individuals), N6,000 (group of five)

See you there!

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#FarafinaReads with A. Igoni Barrett and Efe Paul Azino

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Join us on Sunday, 31 July as #FarafinaReads with award-winning writers A. Igoni Barrett and Efe Paul Azino. The authors will be reading from and discussing their work, including their latest books, Blackass (by A. Igoni Barrett) and For Broken Men Who Cross Often (by Efe Paul Azino). There will be conversations, question-and-answer and spoken word performances.

Date: Sunday, 31 July 2016
Time: 3.00 PM
Venue: Bar Enclave, 1 Adeola Adeleye Street, off Coker Road, Ilupeju, Lagos

Entry is free, so bring a friend.

See you there!

 

To buy copies of Blackass or For Broken Men Who Cross Often, please visit our Konga page or call 0807 736 4217.

 

Obari Gomba Hosts an Evening of Poetry

Obari and Friends

Farafina author, Obari Gomba, will be hosting an evening of poetry and mentoring – tagged ‘Obari Gomba and Friends’ – for aspiring poets and poetry lovers in the city of Port Harcourt. The event will feature poetry readings by the author, as well as light refreshments and discussions on creative writing (particularly poetry), getting published and literary prizes.

Date: Sunday, 10 January 2016
Time: 4.30 PM
Venue: Witty E-Cafe, 25 Nnewi Street, Mile I, Port Harcourt

Obari Gomba (PhD) teaches Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Port Harcourt. His poetry collection, Length of Eyes, was listed by the jury of the Nigeria Prize for Literature as one of the best eleven poetry books in 2013. His poetry collection, Thunder Protocol, was published by Farafina Kamsi in 2015.

A. Igoni Barrett Responds to Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani’s Essay, ‘African Books for Western Eyes’

A. Igoni Barrett, author of Love Is Power or Something Like That, in his essay titled ‘Whom Do We Write For?’ gives a thought-provoking response to Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani’s New York Times piece, ‘African Books for Western Eyes’. Please read an excerpt from Barrett’s essay below:

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I published my first book in Nigeria in 2005. It was a collection of stories edited by my father and released by his one-man company. The day the printer delivered the books was memorable: imagine my eagerness as I grasped my first-ever copy, then stared at it in disappointment: dreadfully designed, atrociously typeset, abominably printed – it is still the ugliest book I’ve ever touched.

Over the next two years I distributed the books myself; hence, I know that less than one hundred copies were sold. The left-over nine hundred were handed out to anyone who didn’t refuse the gift.

In the beginning, I was convinced I could make a living from my sales. Nigeria had a population of more than one hundred million, and so one thousand books, even ones as unattractive as mine, would sell quickly. Like many self-published authors before me, I figured wrong.

By 2007 I was disenchanted enough with DIY publishing to take up a job with a traditional publisher, where I spent the next two years learning everything about why my book had failed.

I republished the book in 2008. My father supplied the money to print one thousand copies, but it was my employer that supplied the publishing manpower, albeit unofficially.

When the printer made the delivery, I was astonished that the same book could look so different. While the first edition had never found a place on my bookshelf, this one would. Even better, it would sell. I had it all figured out; I would use my employer’s distribution network.

Lagos had a population of about twenty million, and so one thousand books, especially ones as attractive as mine, would sell quickly. I did more than hope this time: I invested in publicising the book. I pitched myself to newspapers as an interview subject; I went on a book tour; I organised monthly book readings at the largest bookstore chain in Nigeria; and, finally, I resigned my job in publishing and began writing again.

The second edition of my book sold out in 2011, three years after publication. Logistical expenses guaranteed a commercial loss, exacerbated by systemic hindrances, the most infuriating being the booksellers who cheat publishers out of their sales earnings – a common practice in Nigeria.

By this time I had realised that I wanted to be a full-time writer, not a part-time publisher or a half-hearted book promoter.

What worried me was my future as a writer in Nigeria. If I’d learned anything since 2005, it was that it was impracticable for any investor to turn a profit from selling literary fiction in a market as difficult as Nigeria. All those hardscrabble years spent as a local talent had confirmed to me that success for most writers in English – whether African or Australasian or Asian – depends on the publishing powerhouses of the West, mainly in New York and London.

I knew where to go if I wanted success.

Please click here to read the full essay. 

Call for Entries for the 2014 Etisalat Prize for Literature

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Etisalat Nigeria, today announced the call for entries for the 2014 Etisalat Prize for Literature, the second edition of the much celebrated innovative literature prize launched in 2013. The Etisalat Prize for Literature which is the first Pan African Literary Award to celebrate African fiction writers seeks to recognise, celebrate and reward debut fiction writers of African descent whose works are published in the last 24 months.

According to the Acting Chief Executive Officer at Etisalat Nigeria, Matthew Willsher, “the Etisalat Prize for Literature serves as a platform for the discovery of new creative writing talent out of the African continent and is the first prize with the novel concept of also promoting the growing publishing industry in Africa. The winner receives a cash prize of £15,000 in addition to a fellowship at the prestigious University of East Anglia. The winner and shortlisted writers receive a sponsored two-city tour promoting their books.”

The acting CEO highlighted that following the success of the maiden edition last year, the literary community is eagerly awaiting this second edition. NoViolet Bulawayo won the maiden edition of the Etisalat Prize for Literature with her highly celebrated debut novel “We Need New Names”. The Etisalat Prize accepts submitted works which must be a writer’s first work of fiction over 30,000 words, which has been published in the last 24 months. The Etisalat Prize will also launch the online based flash fiction prize later in the year to engage the rising stars of fiction.

A Press Conference will be held in Lagos, in June, to announce the panel of judges for this year’s competition. Rules and guidelines for entry are available on www.etisalatprize.com

Entries close 8th of August 2014.

Americanah: One of the 10 Best Books of 2013

The year’s best books, selected by the editors of The New York Times Book Review.

FICTION

Farafina Books

The New York Times’ 10 Best Books of 2013

By turns tender and trenchant, Adichie’s third novel takes on the comedy and tragedy of American race relations from the perspective of a young Nigerian immigrant. From the office politics of a hair-braiding salon to the burden of memory, there’s nothing too humble or daunting for this fearless writer, who is so attuned to the various worlds and shifting selves we inhabit — in life and online, in love, as agents and victims of history and the heroes of our own stories.” ~ The New York Times.

Read the rest here.

The UK Guardian also named Americanah as one of the Best Fiction of 2013

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

So what should we get Chimamanda for Christmas?

I’d love to be given, as a present, a signed copy of Politics: Observations and Arguments, 1966-2004 (Penguin) by Hendrik Hertzberg, whose work I admire very much.” ~ Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

Imaginary Conversations @ Ake by Chuma Nwokolo

Chuma Nwoloko, author of Diaries of a Dead African, and brilliant humorist, was at the Ake Arts and Book Festival. HE went with his camera, and he did not leave his wit behind. See below for a series of photos depicting the festival from another angle.

Warning: These pictures are real enough, but the conversations only occurred within the precincts of a writerly imagination.

Lola Shoneyin, Molara Wood, Lewis?, and a "CIA Agent".

Lola Shoneyin, Molara Wood, Lewis?, and a “CIA Agent”.

Richard Ali, Lola Shoneyin, Pius Adesanmi, Remi Raji.

Richard Ali, Lola Shoneyin, Pius Adesanmi, Remi Raji.

Toads for Supper!

Toads for Supper!

Presidential Plot!

“Oh come on, President Rem Raj, Your fellow writers will never sign up to a Third-Term-Agenda!”
“True, I don’t know what’s got into me. Must be this Abeokuta wine…”

Seriously. One Day I Will Also Write About This Airline ~ Binyavanga Wainaina

Seriously. One Day I Will Also Write About This Airline ~ Binyavanga Wainaina

"So I said to her: my name is Eghosa Imasuen, I am a Warripolitan, and she said to me: which kain Waripolitan? You dey drink red wine? Dem born you for New York Siri?"

“So I said to her: my name is Eghosa Imasuen, I am a Warripolitan, and she said to me: which kain Waripolitan? You dey drink red wine? Dem born you for New York Siri?”

Efe Paul Azino

Efe Paul Azino

Chuma Nwokolo & Ikhide Ikheloa.

Chuma Nwokolo & Ikhide Ikheloa.

Teju Cole & Tolu Ogunlesi

Teju Cole & Tolu Ogunlesi

Lolo Shoneyin, The Secret Lives of African Writers.

Lola Shoneyin, The Secret Lives of African Writers.