Book Digest

Book Digest: Njambi McGrath, Jason Allen-Paisant, Mário Pinto de Andrade, Farouk Sesay and Elizabeth L. A. Kamar

We wrap up book news for our readers in our regular Book Digest segment with books from Njambi McGrath, Jason Allen-Paisant, Mário Pinto de Andrade, Farouk Sesay, and Elizabeth L. A. Kamar.

Rinsing Mukami’s Soul by Njambi McGrath

Publisher:  Jacaranda
Date:  February 2, 2024
Genre:  Fiction
Language:  English
Where to find it:  Jacaranda

Njambi McGrath

Njambi McGrath
Njambi McGrath

Njambi McGrath is a Kenyan-born, UK-based comedian and author. Described as “blazing the trail for Black comedians” by The Guardian, Njambi has been featured on ITV, Sky News, BBC Radio 4, STV and Arise TV, among others. Her first book, the memoir Through the Leopard’s Gaze, was published by Jacaranda Books in 2020 to critical acclaim, lauded by David Lammy MP as ‘stunning’. She is a regular contributor to HuffPost, Glam Africa, and i-news.

Rinsing Mükami’s Soul

Rinsing Mukami’s Soul by Njambi McGrath

An incisive novel laying bare the contradictory societal response to gender, sex and redemption. Rinsing Mũkami’s Soul looks at revenge as a powerful tool for reclamation when young Mũkami’s carefully ordered life is cruelly thrust into scandal.

Njambi McGrath, award winning author of Through the Leopard’s Gaze, delivers this stunning debut novel examining the validity of fury as response when a young Kenyan girl’s mistakes in first love are ruthlessly held against her by a paternalistic society. Mũkami is a young scholarship student at a prestigious boarding school. She has a clear path ahead of her, but a deceptive smile, a school expulsion and an impossible pregnancy see her well ordered life hurtling towards complete and utter disarray.

Facing disappointment from her family and finding that innocence is not a strong enough place from which to mount a defence, she declares revenge. This charged novel asks us to question why girls and women are often left to fight for justice from lonely places in societies that prefer them silenced.

LET HER BE: An Anthology of Poems on Women’s Sexual Health & Rights edited by Oumar Farouk Sesay and Elizabeth L. A. Kamar

Publisher:  Independent
Date:  February 8, 2024
Genre:  Poetry anthology
Language:  English
Where to find it:  Amazon

LET HER BE: An Anthology of Poems on Women's Sexual Health & Rights edited by Oumar Farouk Sesay and Elizabeth L. A. Kamar

“As an African feminist, I take immense pride in this anthology featuring a multitude of Sierra Leonean and African poets, both male and female. “Let Her Be” resounds with our shared experiences as women on the continent and stands as a significant contribution to the global movement aimed at spotlighting and addressing critical issues such as rape, victim-blaming, male privilege, the male gaze, child marriage, menstruation, depression, anxiety, FGM, femicide, and sex work. This collection boldly confronts gender inequality, exposing misogyny, objectification of women’s bodies, and normalizing sexual violence. It is heartening to witness the collective effort within this anthology to bring about change.”

Aisha Fofana Ibrahim, Ph.D

As you delve into this anthology, I invite you to immerse yourself in the diverse voices and narratives that unfold before you. Each poem bears the weight of personal stories, providing glimpses into the lives of those impacted by sexual and gender-based violence. These verses illuminate the pain, resilience, and hope that define the complex journey toward justice and healing.

Chernor Bah Co-Founder, Purposeful

Engagements with Aimé Césaire: Thinking with Spirits by Jason Allen-Paisant

Publisher:  Oxford University Press
Date:  February 6, 2024x
Genre:  Nonfiction
Language:  English
Where to find it:  Oxford University Press

Jason Allen-Paisant

Jason Allen-Paisant
Jason Allen-Paisant

Jason Allen-Paisant is a Senior Lecturer in Critical Theory and Creative Writing in the Department of English, American Studies, and Creative Writing at the University of Manchester. An alumnus of the University of the West Indies (Mona), the University of Oxford, and the École normale supérieure (Ulm), he is the author of Théâtre dialectique postcolonial (2017) and of two books of poetry: Thinking with Trees (winner of the Poetry category of the 2022 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature and shortlisted for the Michael Murphy Poetry Prize) and Self-Portrait as Othello (winner of the 2023 T.S. Eliot Prize and the 2023 Forward Prize for Best Collection).

Engagements with Aimé Césaire: Thinking with Spirits

Engagements with Aimé Césaire Thinking with Spirits by Jason Allen Paisant

Aimé Césaire is due a major critical reinterpretation and that is exactly what this book carries out. Through an in-depth grasp of the trajectory and core significance of Césaire’s work, Jason Allen-Paisant highlights a set of links it makes between ‘spirit,’ ‘poetry,’ and ‘knowing’. These explications, setting Césaire’s work in relation to a rigorously accounted for set of influences, reframe how we understand his writings, enhancing their philosophical, rather than merely political, aspects.

Engagements with Aimé Césaire: Thinking with Spirits is about more than Negritude (which has come to mean something less than a deep poetic sensibility with its own aspirational aesthetics and metaphysics, and rather something more like a fantasy-ridden iteration of pan-Africanism). It shows an Aimé Césaire deeply relevant to today: to the crises of ecological collapse, capitalist dystopias, and ideologies predicated upon fear and the threat of foreigners; and to contemporary chatter around interspecies collaboration and the need to rethink the entrepreneurial subject of Western political thought.

Recasting Césaire’s work is not just a matter of transforming a significant figure. It is also about rethinking legacies. This book is an engagement in the truest sense–the work of a contemporary Black poet who expounds the ways in which Césaire’s work articulates for him a new politics of the self.

The Revolution Will Be a Poetic Act: African Culture and Decolonization by Mário Pinto de Andrade Edited by Lanie Millar, Fabienne Moore

Publisher:  Independent
Date:  February 8, 2024
Genre:  Poetry anthology
Language:  English
Where to find it:  Amazon, Polity

Mário Pinto de Andrade
Mário Pinto de Andrade

Mário Pinto de Andrade (1928-1990) was an Angolan poet, theorist, critic, and politician who wrote widely about national independence for colonized peoples.

Lanie Millar is Associate Professor of Romance Languages at the University of Oregon.

The Revolution Will Be a Poetic Act: African Culture and Decolonization

The Revolution Will Be a Poetic Act: African Culture and Decolonization by Mário Pinto de Andrade Edited by Lanie Millar, Fabienne Moore

This book is a collection of essays and speeches by Mário Pinto de Andrade, the Angolan literary critic, cultural theorist and political activist and one of Africa’s most important 20th century intellectuals.  His writings think through the task of intellectual emancipation of colonized people, which he saw as predicated on the necessary project of political decolonization.  As anti-colonial movements got underway, Andrade wrote extensively about the urgent necessity for Africans to turn away from European cultural and political models, arguing that communities emerging from colonization should focus on voices from within the designated communities, on self-representation, and on horizontal relationships among Black, African, and decolonizing peoples.

Andrade played a key role in theorizing the international reach of the revolutionary 20th century poetry and literature, Black cultural vindication, and African liberation.  In his ethical commitment to moving away from focusing solely on the relationship between the colonial occupier and the colonized, he instead promoted ideas and actions that would construct mutual understanding among decolonizing communities.  Andrade’s work offers models to rethink race and nation as analytic categories and is particularly relevant not only to scholars of African decolonization movements but to anyone engaged in contemporary conversations about race, belonging, and political community.


by

Tags:

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.