dancing the death drill

Jean-Jacques Henri, an Algerian waiter at a restaurant in Paris, has committed murder. His story however, does not begin at the point of murder; It goes far back to South Africa, where he is known as Pitso Motaung, a mixed-race, hot-tempered young man who volunteered to join the war because he had something to prove. Pitso’s journey, although not nearly as interesting to me as that of the Mendi and the peoples/cultures of SA, is the frame through which the events unfold. Many of Khumalo’s characters are well-developed and consistent, even though I found some of them unnecessary, or maybe just allotted more lines ofRead More →

david nicholls

Douglas Petersen is a fairly happy man, or at least content – with a decent living as a scientist, an artist wife to whom he has been married for more than 20 years, and a son who is just about to start college – until she (the wife) wakes him up in the middle of one night to tell him she thinks she wants to leave him. Douglas is surprised to say the least, but he is determined to win his wife back. He has planned a summer tour of Europe for his little family, booked hotels, printed an itinerary. The only things he isRead More →

the lityard

Books are arguably the most pleasurable sources of knowledge. Through them, you experience worlds and cultures different from yours, peek into the minds of criminals, and walk in the shoes of geniuses. You learn how the world’s greatest empires were built, how to roast duck perfectly, and what really happened in the Nigerian Civil War – really, books are the key to the world. Many benefits of reading have been identified: stress relief, improved concentration and empathy, vocabulary expansion, and improved writing. Reading books, and not just newspaper articles and social media posts, stimulates the brain  and improves brain function – your brain is like a muscleRead More →

the lityard

Zaynab Quadri is a literature advocate who prefers to remain anonymous. Her writings, pictures, and book reviews will make you believe anew in the power of words. Enjoy this chat with her. Welcome to The Lityard, Zaynab. Please tell us a bit about yourself? Hello. My name is Zaynäb Quadri, a journalist, product photographer, and teacher. I have ambitions to be that crazy book lady if traveling the world with no money proves impossible. In the Nigerian (and perhaps much of the entire) literary web space, you are one of the strongest advocates for African literature; what inspired your love for African lit? I won’t romanticizeRead More →

the lityard

    Whatever we tell ogbo, ogbo must hear Whatever we tell ogba, ogba must accept O east wind, come quickly, rise with the sun, Carry these words on swift wings to Omo Ade Wherever his head may lay; Let duty come before adventure And let the west wind bring him home   Omo Ade ooo! Seven days after your departure, While our faces were still wet with tears We received some guests Strange men who told us they were friends of yours They brought us gifts, beautifully wrapped in the finest damask A place to rest their travelling feet Water for their faces andRead More →

Lucille Clifton

By Lucille Clifton won’t you celebrate with me what i have shaped into a kind of life? i had no model. born in babylon both nonwhite and woman what did i see to be except myself? i made it up here on this bridge between starshine and clay, my one hand holding tight my other hand; come celebrate with me that everyday something has tried to kill me and has failed. FacebooktwitterHatenaPocketRead More →

maya angelou

On the third anniversary of Maya Angelou’s death, here is a poem of hers that is not so widely known. Enjoy. Because we have forgotten our ancestors, our children no longer give us honor. Because we have lost the path our ancestors cleared kneeling in perilous undergrowth, our children cannot find their way. Because we have banished the God of our ancestors, our children cannot pray. Because the old wails of our ancestors have faded beyond our hearing, our children cannot hear us crying. Because we have abandoned our wisdom of mothering and fathering, our befuddled children give birth to children they neither want norRead More →

Look at her, face set in serious lines as she types words that you can barely make out on her computer. You’re close enough to read, but as always, your mind is someplace else. She turns to you and points at a word on one of the stapled sheets on the desk. “Qualities,” you say. She is writing your book, typing out previously printed chapters so she can flesh them out. The bulk of it is copied from the internet, but she doesn’t know that yet. She’s pretty, but she’s no Jane – no one else is. Everyone knows she loves you; you’d have toRead More →

Jowhor Ile

I first heard of Jowhor Ile when the orisa herself, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, mentioned his name in an interview and said we should look out for his debut novel. An endorsement from Adichie is not something to be taken lightly, so I immediately went on the hunt for the novel. It also made me very happy when I found out that the novel was set in Port Harcourt, which is one of my favorite cities ever. I finally caught up with Jowhor and we chatted over chilled beers. I found him very warm, eager, and completely without the airs typical of some writers. He agreedRead More →

Abandonment

  By Buhle Khanyile For three years after my father died I occasionally experienced what, in retrospect, were fleeting psychotic episodes. Without ceremony, a touch of light headedness would swirl in my forehead and spread, like fog, towards the back door of my brain. A feeling of urgency to call my father would overcome me. Reaching for my cellular phone I would stare at it for what felt like an eternity while I tried to recall his office number.  I ransacked my contacts list in a desperate search for a number that did not exist. At the time of his death, my father had been longRead More →