Contemporary African Writing Through The Lenses Of Penguin Books

There is nothing more inspiring, motivational and interesting than diversity of culture, especially learning other people’s culture, language, custom, literature and heritage. I will recommend Penguin African Literature collection from various experienced African writers and the collections of Caine Prize for African Writing.



When our tears are dry on the shore

And the fishermen carry their nets home

And the seagulls return to the bird island

And the laughter of the children recedes at night

There shall still linger the communion we forged

The feast of oneness whose ritual we partook of.

There shall still be eternal gateman

Who will close the cemetery doors

And send the late mourners away.

It cannot be the music we heard that night

That still lingers in the chambers of memory.

It is the new chorus of our forgotten comrades

And the halleluyahs of our second selves.


The Poet. George Awoonor-Williams

A Ghanaian poet and novelist, born at Wheta in the Volta Region, educated at the University of Ghana. Before moving to London in 1967, he was Director of the Ghana Film Corporation. He taught both at the University of London, and at the Stony Brook campus of New York State University, where he became Chairman of Comparative Literature.


The Caine Prize for African Writing is Africa’s leading literary prize. For over ten years it has supported and promoted contemporary African writing. Keeping true to its motto “Africa will always bring something new,” the prize has helped launch the literary careers of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Segun Afolabi, Leila Aboulela, Brian Chikwava, E. C. Osondu, Henrietta Rose-Innes, Binyavanga Wainaina, and many others.


The 2011 collection will include the five shortlisted stories and the stories written at the Caine Prize Writers’ Workshop. It will be published within days of the announcement of the award in July 2011.

In 2009, Penguin publishers released:

Gods and Soldiers: The Penguin Anthology of Contemporary African Writing.

Collection showcasing the energy of new African literature, Coming at a time when Africa and African writers are in the midst of a remarkable renaissance, Gods and Soldiers captures the vitality and urgency of African writing today.

With stories from northern Arabic-speaking to southern Zulu-speaking writers, this collection conveys thirty different ways of approaching what it means to be African. Whether about life in the new urban melting pots of Cape Town and Luanda, or amid the battlefield chaos of Zimbabwe and Somalia, or set in the imaginary surreal landscapes born out of the oral storytelling tradition.


These stories represent a striking cross section of extraordinary writing. Including works by J. M. Coetzee, Chimamanda Adichie, Nuruddin Farah, Binyavanga Wainaina, and Chinua Achebe, and edited by Rob Spillman of Tin House-magazine, Gods and Soldiers features many pieces never before published, making it a vibrant and essential glimpse of Africa as it enters the twenty-first century.