So I have a bit of news 🙂
I may or may not have mentioned that one of my stories got accepted for publication in an anthology. The good news is that the anthology is finally out! *rings bell*
The anthology is titled, “These Words Expose Us” (intriguing, I know) and the theme is words. We were challenged to “explore just how important the words we say (or don’t say to each other), affect our lives and relationships with others sometimes for the better and sometimes unfortunately, the worse”. A lot of the stories did justice to that theme, if I do say so myself 🙂
But seriously, the stories and the writing are pretty good. I’m especially proud of the fact that more Africans are starting to own our writing space, as writers and publishers. We’ve been a bit hesitant, I think and this project is a step towards challenging the status quo. We’re telling our own stories, and we’re telling them with a nod to the past, a grasp of our present reality and our eyes on the future. The fact that the writers are all under 30 is telling. I wouldn’t go so far as to assume that we’re a fair representation of our generation but I daresay that any young African will relate with at least one of the stories. *spiel over*
Now that I’ve gingered you, here’s the link to where you can get more information on the book. Click the link to find out about how to pre-order the book (at a discount) or buy it online. A few weeks back, I was on Inspiration FM discussing the anthology and my story “Orange Tree”, in particular. You can listen to that interview here (Titi, the radio host, also read an excerpt of my story.)
I’ll share more information on things like launch parties and book signings as soon as I get them.
Meanwhile, here’s a short excerpt from my story, “Orange Tree”. You can listen to a longer excerpt in the radio interview. Enjoy 🙂
The Esan have a custom. When a child is born in diaspora, her placenta is sent to the village and buried in the family’s compound with an orange tree planted on the spot. So that we do not forget where we come from, so that for always, the village has a hold on us, a part of us that calls to us wherever we are.
I was seven when Daddy told me. Some of my memories of him fade like old sepia photos, but I remember that night well. The way his bald head gleamed in the light of the kerosene lamp, the military precision of his voice clipping out the words, the cloying stillness of the air because the windows were too small and we were in the middle of the dry season, the tang of Mama’s perfume from behind me.
I want to see my tree. Will you take me to see my tree, Daddy?
Don’t give her ideas, Uyi. It’s superstition, all superstition, Ivie, do you hear me?
Say Yes, Mama.