New Daughters of Africa

AN INTERNATIONAL ANTHOLOGY OF WRITING BY WOMEN OF AFRICAN DESCENT
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Lifetime Achievement in African Literature   —Africa Writes2019

'Some of the short stories will make you hold your breath…'—The Irish Times

Showcasing the work of more than 200 women writers of African descent, this major collection celebrates their contributions to literature and international culture.

Twenty-five years ago, Margaret Busby’s groundbreaking anthology Daughters of Africa illuminated the ‘silent, forgotten, underrated voices of black women’ (The Washington Post). Published to international acclaim, it was hailed as ‘an extraordinary body of achievement… a vital document of lost history’ (The Sunday Times).

New Daughters of Africa continues that mission for a new generation, bringing together a selection of overlooked artists of the past with fresh and vibrant voices that have emerged from across the globe in the past two decades, from Antigua to Zimbabwe and Angola to the USA. Key figures join popular contemporaries in paying tribute to the heritage that unites them. Each of the pieces in this remarkable collection demonstrates an uplifting sense of sisterhood, honours the strong links that endure from generation to generation, and addresses the common obstacles women writers of colour face as they negotiate issues of race, gender and class, and confront vital matters of independence, freedom and oppression.

Custom, tradition, friendships, sisterhood, romance, sexuality, intersectional feminism, the politics of gender, race, and identity—all and more are explored in this glorious collection  of work from over 200 writers. New Daughters of Africa spans a wealth of genres—autobiography, memoir, oral history, letters, diaries, short stories, novels, poetry, drama, humour, politics, journalism, essays and speeches—to demonstrate the diversity and remarkable literary achievements of black women who remain under-represented, and whose works continue to be under-rated, in world culture today.

Featuring women across the diaspora, New Daughters of Africa illuminates the richness and cultural history of this original continent and its enduring influence, while reflecting our own lives and issues today. Bold and insightful, brilliant in its intimacy and universality, this essential volume honours the talents of African daughters and the inspiring legacy that connects them—and all of us.

Contributors: Diane Abbott • Yassmin Abdel-Magied • Leila Aboulela • Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ • Sade Adeniran • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie • Zoe Adjonyoh • Patience Agbabi • Agnès Agboton • Candace Allen • Lisa Allen-Agostini • Ellah Wakatama Allfrey • Andaiye • Harriet Anena • Joan Anim-Addo • Monica Arac de Nyeko • Yemisi Aribisala • Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro • Amma Asante • Michelle Asantewa • Nana Asma’u • Ayesha Harruna Attah • Gabeba Baderoon • Yaba Badoe • Yvonne Bailey-Smith • Doreen Baingana • Ellen Banda-Aaku • Angela Barry • Mildred K. Barya • Jackee Budesta Batanda • Simi Bedford • Linda Bellos • Jay Bernard • Marion Bethel • Ama Biney • Jacqueline Bishop • Malorie Blackman • Tanella Boni • Malika Booker • Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond • Beverley Bryan • Akosua Busia • Candice Carty-Williams • Rutendo Chabikwa • Barbara Chase-Riboud • Panashe Chigumadzi • Gabrielle Civil • Maxine Beneba Clarke • Angela Cobbinah • Carolyn Cooper • Juanita Cox • Meta Davis Cumberbatch • Patricia Cumper • Stella Dadzie • Yrsa Daley-Ward • Nana-Ama Danquah • Edwidge Danticat • Nadia Davids • Tjawangwa Dema • Yvonne Denis Rosario •  Anni Domingo • Nah Dove • Edwige Renée Dro • Camille T. Dungy • Anaïs Duplan • Reni Eddo-Lodge • Aida Edemariam • Esi Edugyan • Summer Edward • Yvvette Edwards • Zena Edwards • Safia Elhillo • Zetta Elliott • Nawal El Saadawi • Diana Evans • Bernardine Evaristo • Eve L. Ewing • Deise Faria Nunes • Diana Ferrus • Nikky Finney • Aminatta Forna • Ifeona Fulani • Vangile Gantsho • Roxane Gay • Danielle Legros Georges • Patricia Glinton-Meicholas • Hawa Jande Golakai • Wangui wa Goro • Bonnie Greer • Jane Ulysses Grell • Rachel Eliza Griffiths • Carmen Harris • zakia henderson-brown • Joanne C. Hillhouse • Afua Hirsch • Zita Holbourne • Nalo Hopkinson • Rashidah Ismaili • Naomi Jackson • Sandra Jackson-Opoku • Delia Jarrett-Macauley • Margo Jefferson • Barbara Jenkins • Catherine Johnson • Ethel Irene Kabwato • Elizabeth Keckley • Fatimah Kelleher • Donika Kelly • Adrienne Kennedy • Susan Nalugwa Kiguli • Rosamond S. King • Donu Kogbara • Lauri Kubuitsile • Goretti Kyomuhendo • Beatrice Lamwaka • Patrice Lawrence • Andrea Levy • Lesley Lokko • Karen Lord •  Karen McCarthy Woolf • Ashley Makue • Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi • Reneilwe Malatji • Sarah Ládípọ̀ Manyika • Ros Martin • Lebogang Mashile • Isabella Matambanadzo • NomaVenda Mathiane  • Imbolo Mbue • Maaza Mengiste • Arthenia Bates Millican • Bridget Minamore • Nadifa Mohamed • Natalia Molebatsi • Wame Molefhe • Aja Monet • Sisonke Msimang • Blessing Musariri • Glaydah Namukasa • Marie NDiaye • Juliana Makuchi Nfah-Abbenyi • Wanjiku wa Ngũgĩ • Ketty Nivyabandi • Elizabeth Nunez • Selina Nwulu • Trifonia Melibea Obono • Nana Oforiatta Ayim • Irenosen Okojie • Nnedi Okorafor • Juliane Okot Bitek •  Chinelo Okparanta • Yewande Omotoso • Makena Onjerika • Chibundu Onuzo • Tess Onwueme • Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor • Louisa Adjoa Parker • Djaimilia Pereira de Almeida • Alake Pilgrim • Winsome Pinnock • Hannah Azieb Pool • Olúmìdé Pópóọlá • Claudia Rankine •  H. Cordelia Ray • Sarah Parker Remond • Florida Ruffin Ridley • Zandria F. Robinson • Zuleica Romay Guerra • Andrea Rosario-Gborie • Leone Ross • Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin • Minna Salami • Marina Salandy-Brown • Sapphire • Noo Saro-Wiwa • Taiye Selasi • Namwali Serpell • Kadija Sesay • Claire Shepherd • Verene A. Shepherd • Warsan Shire • Lola Shoneyin • Dorothea Smartt • Zadie Smith • Adeola Solanke • Celia Sorhaindo • Attillah Springer • Andrea Stuart • SuAndi • Valerie Joan Tagwira • Jennifer Teege • Jean Thévenet • Natasha Trethewey • Novuyo Rosa Tshuma • Hilda J. Twongyeirwe • Chika Unigwe • Yvonne Vera • Phillippa Yaa de Villiers • Kit de Waal • Elizabeth Walcott-Hackshaw • Effie Waller Smith • Rebecca Walker • Ayeta Anne Wangusa • Zukiswa Wanner • Jesmyn Ward • Verna Allette Wilkins • Charlotte Williams • Sue Woodford-Hollick • Makhosazana Xaba • Tiphanie Yanique

Myriad author Sefi Atta has also contributed to the anthology. Sefi Atta is author of several novels, including  The Bead Collector and Everything Good Will Come.

The East African

23 September 2019
Twenty-seven years after her first anthology, Ghanaian-born writer and editor Margaret Busby has released another literary feat titled, New Daughters of Africa; An International Anthology of Writing by Women of African Descent.
It contains stories by more than 200 female authors spanning over 100 years.
Busby’s first anthology was titled Daughters of Africa and was released in 1992. Once again, she has highlighted international writers and added more emerging voices in literature.
New Daughters of Africa is divided into 10-year periods beginning in the pre-1990s into the 1990s. There are stories, poems, articles, book excerpts and reviews by women from across Africa, America, the Caribbean and the UK. But other than the chronology of time periods and featuring only black authors, there is no cohesive theme to tie the book together.
There are familiar names like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Aminatta Forna, Lola Shoneyin, Zadie Smith and Nnedi Okorafor.
There are also new female writers from the first half of the 20th century who present their life experiences, contributions to literature and their societies at a time when women’s public role was quite limited.
Busby digs out names from the late 1800s such as Nina Asama’u, a Muslim Northern Nigerian princess and women’s educator who is still admired today for her progressive thinking during a very patriarchal time and place.
Former slave Elizabeth Keckley bought her freedom and went on to become the dressmaker of President Abraham Lincoln’s wife. In elegant prose she describes her early life and the tender relationship between her beloved parents who were separated by slavery.
Guyanese author and activist Andaiye presents a moving assessment of female friendship, loss and battling cancer. Sadly, she died in May.
Acclaimed British children’s writer Malorie Blackman, 57, first started writing after she was diagnosed with sickle cell anaemia at 18 years old and was expected to die before the age of 30.
Wanjiku Ngugi, daughter of author Ngugi wa Thiong’o, reminisces on her Kenyan childhood and the young son she left behind when she moved to America, where she suffered from food intolerance, a shaky marriage and social isolation.
With poignant candidness, Nigerian-born journalist Donu Kogbara talks about her 2015 kidnapping experience in Losing My Fragile Roots.
She calls kidnapping “the most intelligent and justifiable crime” and by the time of her release she has developed a rapport with her “loquacious kidnappers.” Yet the experience spooked her enough to leave Nigeria forever.
Modern socio-political issues are delved into in narratives like Yvvette Edwards’ tale titled Security, about a 78-year nursing home assistant called Merle who is being expatriated from the UK to Jamaica, a country she hasn’t visited in 50 years.
The story brings to mind the recent Windrush scandal in the UK involving the callous deportation of Caribbean-born migrants who have been long-time residents in Britain.
In Tuk-Tuk Trail to Suya and Stars, Uganda’s award-winning Doreen Baingana retells her experience of eating the popular Nigerian dish called Suya.
She takes us on a tuk-tuk ride to inner-city Nigeria followed by an intense devouring of the super-spicy meat dish.
Excerpts like Sapphire from the book Push are a bookmark for reading the full-length novels from which they were derived.
African-American author Ramona Lofton (aka Sapphire) wrote the semi-autobiographical in 1996 and the movie version, called Precious, won two Academy Awards.
New Daughters of Africa explores topics ranging from sexuality to feminism, female circumcision, women’s rights, migration and sisterhood. But the rich variety of tales can also be a handicap not least because it is onerous to read through over 700 pages of short stories.
This is not a book to be rushed through as each narrative is preceded by a lengthy introduction of the authors. I felt a purposelessness in a few of the narratives or an ending arrived at too quickly, leaving the reader dissatisfied.
Nevertheless, this anthology inspires a great sense of pride in discovering the enormous number of black women writers and their rich body of literary works going back over a century.
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Samira Sawlani, African Arguments

3 August 2019
It has been a long time since a book created the kind of buzz and excitement which has surrounded New Daughters of Africa: An International Anthology of Writing by Women of African Descent. 25 years since her revolutionary first anthology, Daughters of Africa, Margaret Busby’s latest volume is a collection of stories, essays, speeches, poetry and memoirs by over 200 renowned women writers. Busby has described the array of contributors as “an amazing party guest list”. With the likes of Warsan Shire, Nawal El Saadawi, Diane Abbot, Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie and Maaza Mengiste, one can see why. Reserve a special place for this one on your bookshelf, it’s a must-have.
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New York Journal of Books

16 May 2019
Here is the book so many have been waiting for. The book to make sense of so many others. New Daughters of Africa: An International Anthology of Writing by Women of African Descent follows the original tome, New Daughters of Africa, published 25 years ago to global acclaim. It was deemed a vital document then, and it takes its job just as seriously now, bringing together over 200 female voices of color, an incredible range of experience and backgrounds and perspectives and voices, told in every which way important things can be told: memoir, lecture, poem, letters, diary entries, short stories, essays, political speeches, dialogues, humor, reportage, and even oral history. The topics are just as varied and shine bright lights on the lives of critically underrepresented women of color, and on the contributions of these gifted literary scholars: motherhood, slavery, love, work, immigration, assimilation, friendship, thwarted aspiration, infidelity, racism, marriage, poverty, and on and on. In fact, the only thing that is not varied here is the gloriously even quality of the writing. These are stories for crying and laughing and thinking. They are narratives for understanding, for seeking, for finding, yes, because it is a catalogue of lives that are not shown as much and as consistently as we need them to be. See for yourself. Here is Elizabeth Nunez in “Discovering my Mother”: “Quite accidentally I discovered that my mother read books. I didn’t think she did. I thought her only interests were domestic, all related to her children, her home, her social circles. It turned out, however, that she had read my first novel, When Rocks Dance. I hadn’t expected her to. Years ago, I had left the novel for my father. He never read it. As far as I know, he never read a single one of my eight books. When I found out my mother had read When Rocks Dance, I gave her my next two novels. Beyond the Limbo Silence and Bruised Hibiscus. She read them too and was full of praise for me. I was her favorite author, she said.” And here is Zadie Smith, receiving the Langston Hughes Medal in 2017 with “Speech for Langston”: “I don’t know what I am doing on a list of names that includes James Baldwin and Toni Morrison, Derek Walcott and Octavia Butler, but I am so grateful to find myself in their company. Growing up in England, in the eighties, these were some of the writers my mother gave me, to remind me that no country has the power to decide whether or not it will ‘tolerate’ a black child or decide on her true identity, for the black child’s inheritance is borderless and enormous and needs no such external authentication.” And here you have a brave story—for its profundity and complexity, as much as for its beauty— from Chinelo Okparanta. Titled “Trump in the Classroom,” it tells of encountering a disturbing narrative while teaching a writing workshop in a heavily pro-Trump area, to an all-white classroom, save for one student and herself: “In the student’s story, the colony—and all the black people in it—was suddenly set to be destroyed, because a few of the black people had taken to bringing up the issue of slavery. They were still living out the legacy and pain of it—an inherited trauma—despite the fact that this was hundreds of years after. This complaining was getting to be too much for the whites, so the whites had now arrived at a solution: blow up, destroy, obliterate all the dark-skinned people. Banishing them to a malaria-infested colony was no longer enough. Rather, put an end to the legacy of slavery once and for all, so that they would no longer have to listen to complaints, the inconvenience of guilt.” These voices are joined by Edwidge Danticat, Roxane Gay, Claudia Rankine, Panashe Chigumadzi, Bridget Minamore, Margo Jefferson, Bonnie Greer, Philippa Yaa de Villiers, and dozens more, each one as accomplished as the rest, their tales arranged by decade, each decade seemingly a different world. It is, perhaps, this bulk, this excess, this non-superfluous surplus, this literal and literary embarrassment of riches that sends the strongest of messages. Yes, there is this much talent and achievement here in the literature of people of color, the roots of these writers in Africa, but their immense contribution extends to every continent. It is this good. It is this great. So, how is it that it continues to be such a low percentage of all that is published, widely distributed, critiqued, discussed, taught, and shared?

Echoes Magazine

3 May 2019
New Daughters Of Africa: An International Anthology Of Writing By Women Of African Descent. Edited by Margaret Busby[Myriad] With more than 200 black women writers in its 700 eventful pages, this inspiring collection punches above its very considerable weight. Editor Margaret Busby, who was at the helm for its predecessor 25 years ago, proves again to be as discerning and adventurous in her choice of contributors, as well as the genres in which they express themselves. The result is great diversity within a supposed minority, a resounding statement of the infinitely rich life experience of the ‘sisters’ drawn from Africa and the Diaspora. As was the case with the acclaimed first edition there is a commendable balance between those who are known and those who are unknown but nonetheless have illuminating things to say. There are thus few surprises about the excellence of Bernardine Evaristo’s On Top Of The World, a wonderful piece of prose that melts down any expectation of what a British-Nigerian could have in her DNA by way of an impassioned homage to icebergs in Greenland. On the other hand the poignant verse of Zambia’s Ethel Irene Kabwato will be a revelation, as will the luminous narrative and penetrating character studies of African-American Jesmyn Ward. Needless to say a host of other writers of varying profile, from Zadie Smith to Catherine Johnson, Mailka Booker, Jane Ulysses Grell and Attilah Springer, to name but some, also contribute work of a very high standard. Busby has grouped the texts by decade, reaching right back to the pre-1900, which results in a clear and vivid sense of evolution in both style and subject matter. It is timely to learn that Haiti, defined by western news in the 90s and 2000s as a blighted land of dictators and hurricanes, produces poets with the strength of a tempest, such as Anais Duplan. Her forensic depiction of blackness in a world where too few questions are asked is indispensable.
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Sussex Express

2 May 2019
‘A banquet of words’ is how legendary publisher, broadcaster, critic and author Margaret Busby introduces her latest anthology of writing by women of African descent. New Daughters of Africa comes 25 years after Margaret was commissioned to compile the first anthology of African women’s writing by a young editor called Candida Lacey, who now heads up the Brighton-based Myriad Editions, publishers of the new book. The original is long out of print and she and Candida decided it was high time for a completely new edition. Margaret will be discussing the book at the Charleston Festival on May 22. With her will be two of the contributors, award-winning novelist Diana Evans and cultural critic and playwright Bonnie Greer. There are more than 200 contributors to the anthology. Some will be well known to readers, others less so. In Candida Lacey’s words: “The discoveries are delicious and exciting.” She recalls how bowled over she was by the richness and diversity of the first anthology, published in 1992. “This was the backbone of my education in African literature,” she said. “And I was appalled that despite studying literature at university there were so few names that I knew.” The new book duplicates none of the writers who appeared in the first collection. It begins with some important entries from the 18th and 19th centuries and continues chronologically to the present day. As the decades unfold, the contributors’ names become more familiar. In the 1950s section, Diane Abbott, the first black woman to be elected to Parliament, has included her speech championing the case for the sugar industry in The Caribbean. In the ’60s, children’s author Malorie Blackman writes a moving letter to her daughter recounting the day when, at age 18, she was diagnosed with a disease likely to kill her by age 30. Only it didn’t. The ’70s includes Zadie Smith’s speech on receiving the Langston Hughes Medal in New York and what it means to be accepted, a black British woman, from a mixed marriage – a second-generation Jamaican, a distant but not-forgotten daughter of Africa. This book is a wonderful treasure trove to dip into and to marvel at how way ahead of their time were some of the early contributors. It begins with words by Nana Asma’u (1793-1863), a revered figure from northern Nigeria, who spoke four languages and was an educated and independent Islamic woman who could be considered a precursor to modern feminism in Africa. There is more than a touch of feminism in Effie Waller Smith (1879-1960), who praises ‘The Bachelor Girl’ with a marvellous opening line: “She’s no ‘old maid’, she’s not afraid/ To let you know she’s her own ‘boss.’” The poem ends on a triumphant note: “And come what may, she’s here to stay/ The self-supporting ‘bachelor girl.’” Candida Lacey hopes there will be a follow-up to this latest anthology – but neither she nor Margaret plan to wait 25 years this time. For publisher Candida and Myriad Editions these are exciting times, following their partnership two years ago with the Oxford-based New Internationalist. It has enabled Myriad to expand its reach and its commissioning. They published 12 books the first year of the partnership – a mix of fiction, graphic novels, literary and political non-fiction. The same number is listed for the current year. They still have a base in Brighton, and another in London, with the main office in Oxford. As always they are committed to seeking and publishing new writers.
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Professor Selwyn Cudjoe for Trinidad Daily Express

8 April 2019
“Know you not that love, when firmly established, is priceless?”—Nana Asma’u, “Lamentation for ‘Aysha.’” I MET Margaret Busby in the 1980s just after her press (Allison & Busby) published three volumes of CLR James’s collected work (The Future in the Present (1977), Spheres of Existence (1980), and At the Rendezvous of Victory (1984). It was an exciting time for James scholars. The assembled pieces were important parts of James’s intellectual corpus. In 1992 Busby published Daughters of Africa in which she showcased the works of over two hundred black women writers from all parts of the Africana world. The Washington Post called it “ground-breaking” and said it illuminated the “silent, forgotten, underrated voices of black women” while the London Sunday Times hailed it as “an extra body of achievement…a vital body of lost history.” It played a formative role in the field of Black Women’s writing. Twenty-six years later Busby is at it again, publishing New Daughters of Africa: An International Anthology of Writings by Women of African Descent. None of the writers from the earlier volume appear in this recent volume which the editor says “represents something of a fresh start.” It is an illuminating beginning-over-again; another milestone on the documentation of African women’s writings. Busby begins this remarkable volume with the work of Nana Asma’u (1793–1863), a revered figure in northern Nigeria, who spoke four languages. Asma’u “was an educated and independent Islamic woman who can be considered a precursor to modern feminism in Africa.” Then Busby turns to Sarah Parker Remond (1815–1894), an African-American writer who wanted “to be educated.” Remond was partly educated in England before migrating to Italy, where she studied medicine. Delia Jarrett-Macauley, a Sierra Leonean, recounts Remond’s amazing story in “The Bedford Women” that is reproduced in Busby’s anthology. Remond’s work is followed with an excerpt from the autobiography of Elizabeth Keckley’s (1818–1907), Behind the Scenes: Or, Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in the White House which tells of Keckley’s father snatched away from she and her mother by their slave master. They never saw her father again even though he wrote to her mother until he died. These early works provide the scaffolding for a later generation of writers such as Edwidge Danticat, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Zadie Smith, Nawal El Saadawi, Claudia Rankine, and Marie NDiaye. I liked Danticat’s “Dawn After the Tempests” that uses Audre Lorde’s essay to interpret Grenada, and NDiaye’s melancholy story, “Three Strong Women,” about her selfishness and her husband’s sudden death, and Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro’s haunting but frighteningly mesmerising “Midwives (Fragments).” The anthology includes writers from about fifty countries. Trinidad and Tobago is well represented with selections from Elizabeth Nunez, Marina Salandy-Brown, Meta Davis Cumberbatch, Barbara Jenkins, and Lisa Allen-Agostini among others. Salandy-Brown’s “Lost Daughter of Africa” begins with the evocation of her ninety-seven-year-old mother, “Masa! Massa! Rua ina zua,” fragments of Hausa her mother remembered from the first seven years of her life in northern Nigeria. Listening to her grandmother’s fluent Hausa, Salandy-Brown revealed her amazement during that that strange, linguistic moment: “My uncle and his family, with whom she lived, were as amazed as I was by this new bit of history, by the acknowledgement, finally, that my grandmother had an African past.” Busby attempts to capture the “customs, tradition, friendships, mentor/mentee relationships, romance, sisterhood, inspiration, encouragement, sexuality, intersectional feminism, the politics of gender race and identity.” She takes particular joy in seeing Attillah Springer, a Trinidadian, “follow the pathway of her mother Eintou Pearl Springer, a contributor to Daughters of Africa,” a beautiful mother-daughter literary bonding. The longing for and recognition of African roots characterise the works of many of these writers. It also involves a search for self-awareness. Zadie Smith puts it best when, on receiving the Langston Hughes medal, she confessed: “I am so thankful that tonight it has stretched far enough to include a Black-British woman like me, a freckle-faced woman like me, a mixed-marriage woman like me, a green card holder like me, an immigrant like me, a second-generation Jamaican like me, a distant but not forgotten daughter of Africa.” This impulse to recapture and to reclaim Africa emanates from the rootsiness of an editor whose father was raised in Trinidad and settled in Ghana where Busby was born. After studying in London, she became Britain’s youngest and first black woman publisher. She remains a prolific African griot who is always doing book reviews and radio programs, writing articles and obituaries, and acting as a one-woman repository of black people’s writing. Two Wednesdays ago Busby and I met at the British Library just to reminisce and talk about her book. She was still at it. She had a cold, was on the verge of losing her voice but was still giving lectures and interviews to promote the writings of black people the world over. I was pleased that she attended my lecture at University College London about a month ago. There is no way I can do justice to this 800-page book in a 900-word article. It is a literary tour-de-force that must be read slowly and savoured. Much can be gained by reading the editor’s introduction carefully. It captures the lushness, the creativity, and the wondrous innovation of our Africana sisters. Jarrett-Macauley notes that Busby has turned “reading English into something global, explosive and urgent.” This is the joy and richness a reader will discover in this book: explosiveness, urgency, and a fantastic global literary encounter. Professor Cudjoe’s e-mail address is scudjoe@wellesley.edu. He can be reached @ProfessorCudjoe.
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Turnaround, Book of the Month

11 March 2019
In 1992, Margaret Busby compiled a pioneering work of literature by more than 200 women from Africa and the African Diaspora. The book clocked in at over 1000 pages of fiction, essays, poetry, drama, memoirs and children’s writing, and is widely regarded as an essential volume. This March, the month of Women’s History no less, Myriad Editions are set to release a follow-up: New Daughters of Africa. Naturally, it is our next Book of the Month. How could it not be? New Daughters of Africa, once again compiled by Margaret Busby in a gargantuan editorial feat, showcases the creativity and achievements of contributors including Roxane Gay, Zadie Smith, and Diane Abbott. It is a behemoth of thought and reflection, exploring sisterhood, tradition, romance, race and identity – individually, and at large. The importance of the initial publication of Daughters of Africa cannot be overstated, and New Daughters of Africa is just as significant. Last month Margaret Busby and Myriad Editions announced the £20,000 Margaret Busby New Daughters of Africa Award in celebration of the book’s publication and the significance of the contributors’ achievements. The award will cover tuition and accommodation costs for black, female students ordinarily resident in Africa to study at SOAS University of London.
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Ninja Book Box

25 February 2019

Twenty-five years ago, Margaret Busby’s groundbreaking anthology Daughters of Africa illuminated the ‘silent, forgotten, underrated voices of black women’ (The Washington Post). Published to international acclaim, it was hailed as ‘an extraordinary body of achievement… a vital document of lost history’ (The Sunday Times)

New Daughters of Africa continues that mission for a new generation, bringing together a selection of overlooked artists of the past with fresh and vibrant voices that have emerged from across the globe in the past two decades, from Antigua to Zimbabwe and Angola to the USA. Key figures join popular contemporaries in paying tribute to the heritage that unites them. Each of the pieces in this remarkable collection demonstrates an uplifting sense of sisterhood, honours the strong links that endure from generation to generation, and addresses the common obstacles women writers of colour face as they negotiate issues of race, gender and class, and confront vital matters of independence, freedom and oppression.

Custom, tradition, friendships, sisterhood, romance, sexuality, intersectional feminism, the politics of gender, race, and identity—all and more are explored in this glorious collection  of work from over 200 writers. New Daughters of Africa spans a wealth of genres—autobiography, memoir, oral history, letters, diaries, short stories, novels, poetry, drama, humour, politics, journalism, essays and speeches—to demonstrate the diversity and remarkable literary achievements of black women who remain under-represented, and whose works continue to be under-rated, in world culture today.

Featuring women across the diaspora, New Daughters of Africa illuminates the richness and cultural history of this original continent and its enduring influence, while reflecting our own lives and issues today. Bold and insightful, brilliant in its intimacy and universality, this essential volume honours the talents of African daughters and the inspiring legacy that connects them—and all of us.

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New Beacon Books

Showcasing the work of more than 200 women writers of African descent, this major international collection celebrates their contributions to literature and international culture.

New Daughters of Africa continues that mission for a new generation, bringing together a selection of overlooked artists of the past with fresh and vibrant voices that have emerged from across the globe in the past two decades, from Antigua to Zimbabwe and Angola to the USA. Key figures join popular contemporaries in paying tribute to the heritage that unites them. Each of the pieces in this remarkable collection demonstrates an uplifting sense of sisterhood, honours the strong links that endure from generation to generation, and addresses the common obstacles women writers of colour face as they negotiate issues of race, gender and class, and confront vital matters of independence, freedom and oppression.

Custom, tradition, friendships, sisterhood, romance, sexuality, intersectional feminism, the politics of gender, race, and identity—all and more are explored in this glorious collection  of work from over 200 writers. New Daughters of Africa spans a wealth of genres—autobiography, memoir, oral history, letters, diaries, short stories, novels, poetry, drama, humour, politics, journalism, essays and speeches—to demonstrate the diversity and remarkable literary achievements of black women who remain under-represented, and whose works continue to be under-rated, in world culture today.

Featuring women across the diaspora, New Daughters of Africa illuminates the richness and cultural history of this original continent and its enduring influence, while reflecting our own lives and issues today. Bold and insightful, brilliant in its intimacy and universality, this essential volume honours the talents of African daughters and the inspiring legacy that connects them—and all of us.

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