An Anthology of East African Literature

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300+ pages, 50+ contributors, 10+ countries

This is not just a collection of poems and short stories; it is a granary of artistic abundance! For here, will you find a rich variety of masterfully crafted pieces in a range of style, including those that draw from the African oral storytelling tradition. It is a montage of pieces of literary art, curated in a manner that allows for the ‘strict grammarian’ forms of expression to coalesce with those given to poetic licentiousness. 
The anthology’s poetry is rich and sundry, mirroring the diverse spectrum of literary expression to be found across the East African region. Verb repetition – a familiar linguistic form often used to create a sense of frequency or emphasis in many Bantu languages – is at play as the persona in Aquagasm playfully draws us into her romantic entrancement with nature.

She dip dips in the Ocean with her toes,
Smack smacks the waves with her breasts 
Lick licks the sand with her fingers
Point points at the sky with her nose

Ngonjera, a Swahili word for a conversational poem with more than one persona’s voice, comes to the fore in Who Will Marry Her? This conversational form, a characteristic of many an African poetry recital rooted in the oral poetic tradition, is more overtly recognizable in the opening line of Poetic Justice:

First wait I tell you!

The anthology’s short stories section features some of the finest writing yet, both in terms of form and meaning. Thematically, the writings cover a range of issues, from the societal to the personal. This way, you have terrorism juxtaposed with romantic cravings; political disenchantment residing side by side with justice and gender equality issues; sexual exploitation and human/family relations finding acres of space in both the prose and the poetry, and an unmissable glimpse into racial and ethnic issues. In some cases, the themes have a bearing on the style employed. 

Whichever your favourite genre is, this anthology of East African literature has delivered something that has not been served to readers in many years. It is a fitting gift to the lovers of literary art in this first quarter of the 21st century.

 - Josh Mali


Beverley Nambozo Nsengiyunva • Lydia Kasese • Bigoa Chuol • Kagayi Ngobi • Raïs Neza Boneza • Sitawa Namwalie • Betty Kituyi • Josh Mali • Gervaz Lushaju • Laban Erapu • Julius Ocwinyo • Billy Kahora • Sam Okoth Opondo • Troy Onyango • Dennis Mugaa • Aress Mohamed • Dessale Berekhet • Alex Teyie • Lucky Grace Isingizwe • Barbara Oketta • Lilian Akampurira Aujo • Jameela Siddiqi • Derek Lubangakene • Rosey Ssembatya • Sophie Alal • Ayeta Anne Wangusa • Carey Baraka • Muthoni wa Gichuru • Neema Komba • Regina Asinde • Dilman Dila • Muthoni Garland • Davina Philomena Kawuma • Abraham T. Zere • Tim Baroraho • Bob G. Kisiki • Julius Ocwinyo • Acan Innocent Immaculate • Beatrice Lamwaka • Hilda J. Twongyeirwe