The Rise of Nigerian Literature, and more…

Indigenous Sci-Fi and Fantasy Authors You Should Be Checking For (Black Girl Nerds)

Louise Erdrich

Louise Erdrich is a prolific American Ojibwe author who has published or contributed to over 30 books in various genres. Erdrich has written poetry, non-fiction, children’s literature, and contemporary fiction. Amidst her varied bibliography are several genre novels. Her most recent work – Future Home of a Living God – is a work of dystopian science-fiction. It is a world where evolution suddenly moves in reverse. The novel follows a woman who traces her roots back to her native birth mother. She seeks answers, amid panic over her own unborn child. This novel delves deeply into feminist issues, and indigenous culture. Erdrich is also considered to be one of the foremost writers in the Native American Renaissance that began in the 1960’s.

Dystopia or utopia? Politics or aesthetics? What are the challenges of writing climate fiction? (

We often hear a debate over the status of cli-fi as a form of science fiction. Some critics hold the view that climate fiction is indeed science fiction because of its use of what Darko Suvin called “novum”, a kind of novelty or newness, which in this case is caused by disaster. This is contested by the fact that we find realism, fantasy, speculation and various other literary types in the library of cli-fi. As many effects of climate change are already visible and writers like Amitav Ghosh in Gun Island draw on these real world happenings in their cli-fi, it is difficult to position climate fiction within the house of sci-fi, which needs a so-called “novum”.

Shining a light on contemporary sci-fi (Times of India)

As international authors and critics continue to debate the value and worth of the ‘sci-fi’ label, there is no denying of the blurry middle ground between genre and literary fiction occupied by the works of celebrated writers including Margaret Atwood, Cormac McCarthy and Haruki Murakami, to name a few. There’s also no denying that self-described speculative fiction increasingly makes a part of popular literary tastes – Ted Chiang’s collection of short-stories Exhalation (Alfred A. Konpf, 2019) featured on Barack Obama’s much followed summer reading list this year.

The irresistible rise of Nigerian fiction (The Irish Times)

The pioneer generation of Nigerian writing in English emerged prior to the country’s independence from Britain in 1960, and included Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe and Amos Tutuola. Then followed long periods of military dictatorship, leading to a decline in the publishing environment, with many intellectuals fleeing the country. In one of the darkest episodes, writer and environmentalist Ken Saro-Wiwa, a former President of the Association of Nigerian Authors, was hanged along with eight other Ogoni activists by the military regime of Gen Sani Abacha in 1995.

Murakami says novelist’s role is ‘light that shines in the darkness’ (The Asahi Shimbun)

To Murakami, stories being told in front of an open fire are the original novels. He said these stories gave people a sense of temporary relief from their hunger and fear.

Novelists are descendants of such storytellers, Murakami said.

“There is no pleasure like being able to be the light that shines in the darkness in various places in the world,” Murakami said, concluding his speech.

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