It was inevitable: compiling a list as monstrous as this would consume time, cause a delay. But here we are. 2018 came with its own firsts and highs. A new major publishing house came on board: The Indigo Press, founded by the distinguished Zimbabwean editor and critic Ellah Allfrey. A new major magazine: Kabaka, dedicated to publishing queer-centered writing, co-founded by the Nigerian poets Romeo Oriogun and Chibuihe Obi. And groundbreaking books were published: Trifonia Obono’s La Bastarda, the first English-language novel by a woman from Equatorial Guinea; Naivo’s Beyond the Rice Fields, the first novel from Madagascar to be translated into English. In 2016, our year-end list contained 32 pieces. For 2017, it was 79. As with those two lists, we wanted this one to tell a story of African Literature in 2018, to collect both the year’s notable and its finest. But what counts as “notable”? The subject? The context? The writer? The writing? In our consideration, we looked first at the writing. And again at the writing. And finally, at the subject and the context. We did not consider pieces that do not engage directly and primarily with our literary culture, that are not channeled into asking or answering questions about literary… Read full this story
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