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As The Crow Flies: the Red Earth. Veronique Tadjo

  French and Côte d´Ivoire: Veronique Tadjo’s novella, As the Crow Flies, led me to her poetry book: Red Earth, first published in French as Laterite. The novella opens and ends like a long poem, is a love-betrayal and migration story, and at the heart of it are personal urban life… Read more

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Meet Prartho Sereno, the fantastic poet

Coming closer to Thanksgiving makes me think of Prartho Sereno’s imaginative and fascinating poetry book: Causing a Stir: The secret lives and loves of kitchen utensils. Food is involved, you see. And love. The wonderful poems are complemented by paintings, also done by Prartho. What I… Read more

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The Needle Poems of Jennifer Grotz

I’m excited about introducing Jennifer Grotz, who is coming to read as part of The Raymond Carver Reading Series. A year ago I discovered her poetry book, Cusp, accidentally really, when I was in Bird Library randomly looking for interesting poetry books. I removed the book from the shelf and… Read more

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Reading David Sedaris

When David Sedaris came to read as part of Syracuse University lecture series, I didn’t know he was a household name. Isn’t discovery one of the pleasures of being in another culture/place? The event was widely publicized, free tickets and all, and that made me do the typical nowadays: google… Read more

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Jackee Budesta Batanda

Happy Times With Jackee B Batanda

I’m touring Cambridge, Massachusetts with my friend, Jackee Batanda, giggling on the streets and recalling when we first met in 2000 at FEMRITE–The Uganda Women Writers Association–where we both used to work. Aspiring writers. Eleven years down the road been quite a journey, full of… Read more

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Corsino Fortes of Cape Verde

Cape Verde with Corsino Fortes

One of the finest islands with great music–think Cesaria Evora–beautiful deep blue waters, and good food; go national and get the cachupa–hard corn mixed with dry beans topped with two sausages and fried eggs. That’s what you can have for breakfast and/or lunch. An orange on the side. Some… Read more

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Queen Nzinga in peace negotiations with the Portuguese governor in Luanda, 1657

Pepetela, Ondjaki and Ana Paula Ribeiro Tavares

  You realize we’re not done with Angola yet. I can’t help it. I love historical fiction. When it’s sprinkled with mythology and fantasy, so much the better. That’s partly the reason I’m enthralled by Angolan writing/writers. They’ve got their feet in the magic world yet… Read more

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José Eduardo Agualusa, remarkable Angolan writer

Now to my really favorite writer, North of Limpopo, South of Sahara, West of the Atlantic and East of Indian Ocean, José Eduardo Agualusa. I know it sounds like an exaggeration but there are many reasons to love this writer. His writing is fresh air in the real sense of the word. You only have… Read more

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Mia Couto and Mozambique fiction

We’re in Mozambique, ladies and gentlemen. Portuguese speaking since 1400’s, since Vasco da Gama alighted there in 1498, and by 1505, Mozambique had fallen in the hands of Portuguese rule. So the first Coat of Arms was Portuguese, the second Portuguese, and the third revised Portuguese… Read more

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Flavien Ranaivo

A little bit of pre-independent Madagascar and post-colonial writing

Before I leave Madagascar, I thought I’d feature someone born in recent times or at least in the generation following Flavien Ranaivo. Flavien Ranaivo (May 13, 1914 – December 20, 1999), Jean-Joseph Rabearivelo (March 4, 1901 – June 23, 1937), and Jacques Rabemananjara (23 June 1913–1… Read more

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