MyReadingChallenge54 : Reading 54 African Female Authors From 54 African Countries in 54 Weeks.
It all started with a question. A question that I asked myself in the middle of my reading following the French well-known hashtag #vendredilecture. The thread of the conversation was joyful when I asked myself: "Marie-Alix, can you name a writer from South Sudan or Zambia? Three months ago, the answer was (shamefully):" No ". I spoke about it around me and suddenly, I was not alone: all my relatives and friends were in the same situation. I started the discussion on Twitter (@madeputter) and it became clear that we were even more numerous. #MyReadingChallenge54 was born.
It’s true that when we talk about Literature in Africa, the first names that are mentioned spontaneously are often famous male authors. How many names of African women writers can you spontaneously quote? When you come from French-speaking Africa, how many English-speaking and / or Portuguese-speaking women writers can you cite - and vice versa - ? Do you know that there is an African Female Author who was recipient of the 1991 Nobel Prize in Literature ?
To help answer those questions, I selected one author and one book from all African countries (thanks to those who shared some of theirs references with me !). And, I have to admit that when some references are scarce or may not be currently available, for some countries, selecting only one author/book was extremely difficult (Cameroon, Senegal, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya ).
As the ethically, culturally and linguistically multifaceted African continent is, the literature and topics that has emerged from it is also diverse. So is the selection.
There are evidences and Nobel Literature Prize but also lesser-known authors, those who are disturbing because they’d challenging the statut quo and those who are supported unanimously, there are standard references but also non-consensual choices of titles, and contemporaries and classics books and authors, but only one objective: to read and get to read the Female African Authors.
The women speak. We must listen.
The women write. It's time to read them.
To walk the talk, please find here a (free) list of game changer and unapologetically Africa’s female authors (and books) you should know.
Because they are writing for all people, everywhere, their work is universal. MyReadingChallenge54 is on. Please, join me !
PS : This list is suggestive and no means exhaustive, but it is a starting point. Have you ever read some of these titles? What would be in your own Female African Literature journey ? Please share in the comment section.
About Marie-Alix de Putter :
Storyteller obsessed with books, Marie-Alix de Putter is a Business Communicator and a Corporate Affairs professional designed in Paris and made of Africa.