‘New Daughters of Africa’ is a must read for aspiring young women writers

Jennifer Makumbi is a Ugandan novelist and short story writer. She is one of the many women writers featured in New Daughters of Africa: An International Anthology of Writing by Women of African Descent (2019). PHOTO| COURTESY

What you need to know:

  • These writers can be described as the matriarchs of African literature.
  • They pioneered ‘African’ writing, in which they were not simply writing stories about their families, communities and countries.
  • They were also writing themselves into the African literary history and African historiography.
  • They claimed space for women storytellers in the written form, and in some sense reclaimed the woman’s role as the creator and carrier of many African societies’ narratives

New Daughters of Africa: An International Anthology of Writing by Women of African Descent (2019), edited by Margaret Busby, is an imposing 805-page tome of stories by ‘African’ women writers from across the world, born between the 1790s and 1990s. This collection contains writings by more than 200 women writers and builds on a previous anthology, Daughters of Africa (1992).

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