2008 Caine Prize Readings
Sunday 6 July 2008, 7pm
Experience the finest new African writing at this annual event. The shortlisted authors read from and discuss their work, highlighting the extraordinary breadth of the continent's literature. The writers are Mohammed Naseehu Ali (Ghana), Stanley Onjezani Kenani (Malawi), Henrietta Rose-Innes (South Africa), Gill Schierhout (South Africa) and Uzor Maxim Uzoatu (Nigeria).
The prize has launched the careers of many African writers, including Helon Habila and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (who's work I have read and thoroughly enjoy!)
Tuesday 15 July 2008, 7pm
Colin Grant's book Negro With a Hat illuminates the life of Marcus Garvey, a vital, yet often misunderstood, figurehead of the black diaspora. Garvey rose to fame as leader of the Universal Negro Improvement Association in 1920s Harlem, and went on to inspire future black leaders and artists with his mesmerising speeches, yet his life was dogged by controversy and the whiff of corruption.
Alima Bashir & Damian Lewis
Friday 18 July 2008, 7pm
Halima Bashir discusses her remarkable new book Tears of the Desert, the first memoir from a woman born and raised in South Darfur. In an incredibly powerful first-hand account of the genocide, Bashir recounts her story as witness, victim and then an exile from the tragedy. She discusses the book with writer and film-maker, Damian Lewis. The event is chaired by novelist Kamila Shamsie.
Saturday 19 July 2008, 7pm
This is the launch event of Blonde Roots, Bernardine Evaristo's brilliantly inventive new book. The novel is an ingenious reversal of the slave trade, in which Africans are the masters and Europeans held captive, blending historical detail with sharp characterisation. Bernardine reads from the book and takes questions from the audience.
check out http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/festivals-series/mama-africa for more information and for ticket booking (concessions available)