African Author at the Centre of a Cologne Literature Campaign, 15-22 November 2020
We would like to draw your attention to a reading campaign of the city of Cologne, which takes place next week. It is called "Book for the City" and takes place every year with an action week in November.
Why is it of relevance to our conference? Among others and together with our close cooperation partner stimmen afrikas the GSSC has promoted for this year’s campaign a novel of an African author because we thought it would be a good occasion to make African literature more known and at the same time make a broader public aware of our ECAS conference which was supposed to take place in about 7 months.
Even though ECAS 9 has been postponed to 2023 because of the pandemic we are very happy that the novel The orchard of Lost Souls by British Somalian author Nadifa Mohamed was chosen as "Book of the City 2020" and will be the focus of several events in Cologne next week. Though written as early as 2013, Nadifa Mohamed’s book is still up-to-date dealing with escape from war, migration, (gender) inequalities etc..
"Setting the book in the late 1980s, she takes not one but three women who are alone and places them at the heart of the Somali civil conflict…. If the women seem in danger of becoming little more than victims, what breathes life into them is how convincing their responses are to their situations. Their choices may be limited, but they negotiate their circumstances with the few options they have" (Aminatta Forna, New York Times, 21/03/2014).
As the Cologne "Book for the City" campaign is mainly meant for libraries, book shops and schools, the majority of the events taking place next week will be in German only but Nadifa Mohamed is supposed to speak in a live stream at the opening matinee coming Sunday, 15 November 2020 at 11 a.m. (UTC+1/Berlin). For more information and the live stream click here).
Anyway, we want to invite you to join us in reading Nadifa Mohamed’s book within the coming weeks and months. And we hope to perhaps get another chance to promote an African author in 2022, seven months before ECAS 9 takes place (31 May – 3 June 2023) in Cologne.