Friday, February 27, 2009
How to Write About Africa
From the latest issue of Granta comes this essay, How to Write About Africa, by Binyavanga Wainaina. Should be required reading on at least a dozen lists I can think of: "Broad brushstrokes throughout are good. Avoid having the African characters laugh, or struggle to educate their kids, or just make do in mundane circumstances. Have them illuminate something about Europe or America in Africa. African characters should be colourful, exotic, larger than life — but empty inside, with no dialogue, no conflicts or resolutions in their stories, no depth or quirks to confuse the cause..."