#FarafinaReads with A. Igoni Barrett and Efe Paul Azino

Book Reading Flyer_3

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.

 

Farafina Trust Creative Writing Workshop Alum Onyinye Ihezukwu (Class of 2009) Wins Heinfield Prize

Onyinye Ihezukwu, an alumnus of the Farafina Trust Creative Writing Workshop has been announced the 2014 winner of the Heinfield Prize, University of Virginia. The $10,000 Heinfield Prize is an endowment of the Joseph F. McCrindle Foundation and is offered by several universities, The University of Virginia is one of these, to one of its graduate students in creative writing.

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Onyinye was one of the stand-out participants in the 2009 edition of our workshop and we are very glad that she has won this keenly contested prize. She is in great company; well-known recipients include Jonathan Ames, Ethan Canin, Jennifer Coke, Harriet Doerr, Sue Miller, A.M. Homes, Walter Mosley, Ann Patchett and Mona Simpson.

Entries for the 2014 Farafina Trust Creative Writing Workshop are still being accepted. Send in your applications to udonandu2014@gmail.com. See previous posts on this blog for application guidelines.

Igoni reads in Abuja this weekend at Salamander Cafe: Saturday 2nd November at 2pm

Igoni reads in Abuja this weekend at Salamander Cafe: Saturday 2nd November at 2pm

The Nigerian edition of Igoni Barrett’s collection of short stories will be released in Abuja on the 2nd of November 2013 at the Salamander Café on Bujumbura Close off Libreville Street, Amino Kano Crescent, Wuse 2 Abuja. It promises to be a great event. Farafina is coming to Abuja.

Binyavanga and Igoni’s Reading at Quintessence, Parkview Estate, Ikoyi, this Past Saturday: Photos from the Event

Binyavanga reading

Igoni Barrett, Amatesiro Dore, Binyavanga Wainaina

Toni Kan and Kaina Agary

Toni Kan and Kaine Agary

Ayodele Morocco-Clarke and Toni Kan mugging it for the camera

Ayodele Morocco-Clarke and Toni Kan mugging it for the camera

Lola Shoneyin was there.

Lola Shoneyin was there.

(R-L) Adebola Rayo and Aye-ola Mabiauku read along with Igoni

(R-L) Adebola Rayo and Aye-ola Mabiauku read along with Igoni

Saraba founder and author, Dr. Damilola Ajayi

Saraba founder and author, Dr. Damilola AjayiAmatesiro led Igoni and Binyavanga in conversation after they readAmatesiro led Igoni and Binyavanga in conversation after they read

Poet Aye-Ola performs her work and get the audience in the mood

Poet Aye-Ola performs her work and get the audience in the mood

Wana Udobang, writer, poet and OAP with Inspiration FM performs her poems, Love is/Not for Sale

Middle: Ms. Eretoru Oruwari, Igoni's mother, was in the audience

Middle: Ms. Eretoru Oruwari, Igoni’s mother, was in the audience

Wana Udobang, writer, poet and OAP with Inspiration FM performs her poems, Love is/Not for Sale

Igoni Barrett reads from his collection of short stories, Love is Power or Something Like ThatIgoni Barrett reads from his collection of short stories, Love is Power or Something Like That

Audience lines up for autographs

Audience lines up for autographs

Selected Writers for 2013 Farafina Trust Creative Writing Workshop

Chimamanda Adichie

In April, Farafina Trust called for entries for the 2013 Farafina Trust creative writing workshop, inviting writers from all over the world to submit their short pieces. From the numerous applicants, twenty-five outstanding writers have been selected to participate in the workshop this year, which will be taught by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Eghosa Imasuen, Binyavanga Wainaina and other writers of note.

The selected writers this year are:

1. Zenique Gardner (USA)
2. Maryam  Shuaib (Minna)
3. Tolu Agunbiade (Ketu)
4. Timendu Aghahowa (Ikeja)
5. Abdulrashid Muhammad (Abuja)
6. Uchenna Ude (Lagos)
7. Udoh Charles Rapulu (Onitsha)
8. Gbolahan Adeola (USA)
9. Lilian Izuorah (Minna)
10. Suleiman Agbonkhianmen ( Lagos)
11. Nicholas Ochiel (Kenya)
12. Yakubu Damilola Daniel (Kwara)
13. Kelechi Njoku (Abuja)
14. Lesley Nneka Arimah (USA)
15. Tajudeen Sagaya (Lagos)
16. Adaora Nwankwo (Onitsha)
17. Chidinma Nnamani (Enugu)
18. Arinze Daniel Ifeakandu (Kano)
19. Okpanachi Eyo Michael (Zaria)
20. Okechukwu Otukwu (Delta)
21. Dami Adeleke (Lagos)
22. Faith Tissa (Anambra)
23. Sifa Asani Gowon (Jos)
24. Efe Paul Azino (Lagos)
25. Aima Ojehomor (PH)

Coming Soon: JUNE 12, 1993: The Annulment

June 12 Cover(130529)Kachifo Limited, publishers of Farafina Books, is proud to announce the forthcoming release of JUNE 12, 1993: THE ANNULMENT the second installment in the historical graphic novel series by Abraham Oshoko. The book tells the important and intriguing story of one of the most important days in Nigeria’s history, June 12 1993 and the events surrounding it.

Release date is June 12, 2013.

ABOUT THE BOOK
On the 12th of June 1993, a presidential election, adjudged free and fair by an overwhelming majority of observers, took place in Nigeria. A few days after, its results were suspended; and barely a week later, Nigerians were given a new word to add to their vocabulary, ‘annulment’.

What really happened in those tumultuous days between June and November 1993? For the first time ever, the full story, with its intricacies, intrigue and complexities, is told from the perspectives of all its major players, in this full-colour graphic novel.

JUNE 12 1993: ANNULMENT is the second in this multi-volume series by Abraham Oshoko.

JUNE 12, 1993: THE ANNULMENT can be pre-ordered by emailing orders@kachifo.com, calling +2348077364217 or tweeting at us: @farafinabooks

Upon release, JUNE 12, 1993: THE ANNULMENT will be available in all major bookstores across the country.

June 12, 1993: The Annulment

By Abraham Oshoko

ISBN: 978-978-51084-4-6

Published in 2013 by Kachifo Limited, under its Farafina imprint

On Race, Hair, and Chimamanda Adichie’s ‘Americanah’

Book Review by Blessing Omakwu

AmericanahWhen I heard Chimamanda Adichie was writing a new book that drew heavily from hair and race as themes, I was excited for two reasons: first, because the bibliophile in me lives for everything Adichie writes; and second, because race and hair are familiar territories as an ex-member of the African diaspora in America. Indeed, one of my first adult memories of America involves both hair and race. Although I was born in America, my family moved to Nigeria when I was child, and I spent all of my adolescent years there. When I returned to America for university, I found that adjusting to the culture change was not as easy as I had imagined it would be. I will never forget the puzzled look on one of my Caucasian-male friends’ face when I sat next to him in the cafeteria one day during those first few weeks. I had just gotten a weave put in my hair, and it turns out he was wondering how my hair had miraculously grown so long since the previous day. I laughed and began to mumble something about the versatility of black hair when an African American female who was sitting across from us fired, “Don’t come here with yo’ African self tryna think you black!” It was then that I first realized being American and being African, did not give me a membership card to the African-American club.

On the surface, Americanah is a riveting love story between high school sweethearts, Ifemelu and Obinze, that starts in Lagos during a time of military dictatorship. With Obinze, Ifemelu was “at ease; her skin felt as though it was her right size.” The two are separated when Ifemelu moves to America amidst ongoing university strikes in Nigeria. In America, Ifemelu becomes aware of race, falls in love with her natural hair, explores an interracial relationship and becomes a prominent blogger. Obinze, on the other hand, moves to England where he battles loneliness and struggles to make a living working under the table jobs after overstaying his visa: “[he] lived in London indeed but invisibly, his existence like an erased pencil sketch.” Eventually, the two reunite in Lagos, where Obinze has become a ‘big boy’ and Ifemelu is struggling to carve a new career after being away from home for 13 years. In the end, Ifemelu and Obinze must make a very difficult decision.  But Americanah is more than a love story: it is a social critique and a dissection of the politics of identity.

What is genius about Americanah is that almost anyone can find something to relate to in it: there is no doubt that this novel will appeal to an even broader audience than Adichie’s previous work.  However, the virtue of Americanah–its ability to cut across 3 continents and multiple subject matters–may also be its vice. The book attempts to do too much by cramming so many complex topics (race, politics, hair, class, interracial relationships, the immigrant experience, nouveau Lagos, etc) into one story line. Several of her full-length blog posts with titles like: ‘To my Fellow Non-American Blacks: In America, You Are Black, Baby’ and ‘A Michelle Obama Shout-Out Plus Hair as Race Metaphor’ are included in the book. After a while, reading the blog posts can become cumbersome (they reminded me of all the assigned reading I had to do in law school for a critical race theory class). Also, at some points in the novel, the hair angle seemed forced (for starters, why was Ifemelu getting braids to go to Nigeria aka the land of cheaper and better braids?) and proselytistic. Interestingly, religion is subtly critiqued and slightly caricatured where explored: characters are found fasting themselves to sickness and diagnosing evil spirits.

Yet, the literary quality of Americanah is preserved despite its overt political tone and near nihilism. The characters are so fully developed and believable that you might think Adichie has met your friend, relative, classmate, or hair dresser. Unlike Purple Hibiscus and some of the stories in The Thing Around Your Neck, there is no unfinished business in Americanah. One leaves the novel at least certain of its conclusion, and at best satisfied by it.

Perhaps the only questions I had after reading the novel were about Adichie herself. There are pieces of the places Adichie has been littered throughout the book, such as Nsukka, Connecticut, Maryland and Yale. In the 24 hours during which I devoured Americanah, I found myself wondering: did she draw some of the dinner table intellectual banter from conversations she and her Doctor husband have had with their friends? And most importantly: how much of Ifemelu is Chimamanda?

In 2009, I had the privilege to meet Adichie during a book signing for The Thing Around Your Neck.  Alas, I echo the gratitude I gave her then for Americanah: thank you for giving a voice to the experiences that I have always remembered but sometimes forgotten how to articulate.

Republished with the author’s permission, this review first appeared on NigeriansTalk

This independent review does not represent the opinion of FarafinaBooks