1. I remember the first time I heard of Maya Angelou. I was in Senior Five and I was interviewing my Deputy Headmistress for the school magazine. When I asked her what her favourite book was, she told me about I know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou. She asked me to look for it and read it. I remember being really fascinated by the title and that was all I needed to begin my search. Since her death, I have been thinking about how a stripper could transform herself to all that she became. To quote a lady on Humans Of New York on her death, “It goes to show that life is cumulative, and you can’t devalue any type of experience.”
I am also quite happy to see so many photos of her laughing. She is the one that said she does not trust people who do not laugh, right? And now I have a new mission-laugh more!
Farewell Maya Angelou! Thank you for the inspiration!
2. I am now reading the five shortlisted stories for this year’s Writivism Short Story Prize. Cameroon, Nigeria, South Africa (there are two writers from South Africa whose names are alarmingly and very confusingly similar until you read their bios!) and Uganda made the list. Ssekandi Ronal Seguja’s Walls and Borders is representing Uganda.
Read the stories and find out how to vote for your favourite here.
3. Earlier this year, Chimamanda hinted that she would be working with Lupita this year. And now it’s confirmed!
4. Do you consider yourself a writer of high calibre and imagination? Jonathan Cape is open for fiction submissions the entire month of June. Details here.
6. Just last month, Africa Is A Country published a story about the acacia tree book cover treatment that most books about Africa seem to be getting. Here is Bookshy’s take on this.
7. I am going through an intense crush on Toni Morrison’s work and I don’t want it to ever end! I was introduced to her work when I listened to the audio version of Tar Baby about three years ago. I loved the book then and the late Lynne Thigpen who narrates the book, sounds exactly how I imagine Toni Morrison sounds. But when I read Morrison’s Song of Solomon and Beloved this year, I found myself going back to listen to Tar Baby again to make sure I did not miss any of the things I am loving about Toni Morrison. And now, when I am jogging/walking, or doing my nails or in a taxi, it is me and my Toni Morrison.
Which writer are you obsessed with at the moment?
7/7 is Sooo Many Stories’ way of helping you beat the Monday blues. 7 things that are making me happy in the literary world.