Don’t Call me an “African” Writer

  1. Al Kags
    I don’t think i understand what you mean. Africans should not be embarrased to write for and hope to see to the african audience.

    If you are based abroad and write for that market, then it’s ok for drama, romance, or crime novel based in abroad not be “classified” as african.

    The african life is unique, not just the writing, that is why kenyan blogs can so naturally bunched together in kenyaunlimited!
    I don’t know about the mediocre tag, beauty after all is in the eye of the beholder.

  2. a small typo correction to my comment:
    “in Africans should not be embarrased to write for and hope to sell to the african audience.”

  3. The tag “african” is not for the benefit of the writer but his audience.

    If i saw your book, or any other african book, in the crime or drama section, i would hesitate to buy it.

    I remember like 4 years ago before Obama became famous, i went a local library and performed a computer search of kenya writers and came across his book…

    You bet that had an impact on my likelihood to read the book

  4. Alexcia I think what he is trying to say is that the term African writer comes with so much negative or untrue stuff attached to it. Such as it either has to be a Ngugi wa Thiongo type book or an autobiography of a white person who lived here or a big pictures book of wildlife and “african living”.

    With this in mind why don’t we have sections for British Writers, American Writers in our book shops? It implies that all writers in the world are just writers and they don’t need classification.

    Why then can’t we just be writers as well and have our books in all sections of the book shop or library rather than have a small section, at the far corner where all the genres are bundled up under the tag “African Writer”.

  5. Vee is right.

    The problem is that once you call yourself a African writer, you are placed within a box. African writers don’t write comedy, thrillers, whodunnits, or drama – they write “African literature” that can only be sold in the “Afrikanner section” of the bookshop.

    I wan to write comedies and drama and more – not “African Literature”

  6. Sadly it would still be called African Comedy… as if the war torn, drought infested and poverty stricken continent doesn’t laugh…

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