African Women Writers: Part 4 of 4

To celebrate Women’s History Month, Enkare Review has been sharing profiles of phenomenal women writers on our social media pages herehere and here. We are going to share these profiles on our website as well. This is the fourth part of a four-part series.

Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi is a Ugandan novelist and short story writer living in Manchester, England. Makumbi has a Ph.D. in Creative Writing from Lancaster University and her doctoral novel, The Kintu Saga, won the Kwani Manuscript Project in 2013, and was subsequently published as Kintu. Some of her published short stories include Let’s Tell This Story Properly (2014), The Joys of Fatherhood and The Accidental Seaman (2012). Earlier this month, she was one of eight writers to be awarded the prestigious Windham-Campbell Prize. Her collection of short stories, Love Made in Manchester, is forthcoming from Transit Books in January 2019.

Ladan Osman is a Somali-born poet and essayist. Osman writes in response to problems of race, gender, displacement, and colonialism, probing the question of testimony: whose testimony is valid?; whose testimony is worth recording? Her chapbook, Ordinary Heaven, appears in Seven New Generation African Poets (2014) while her full-length collection The Kitchen-Dweller’s Testimony (2015) won the Sillerman First Book Prize. Her next collection Exiles of Eden, a work of poetry, photos, and experimental text, is forthcoming with Coffee House Press in 2019.

Doreen Baingana (b 1966) is a Ugandan writer and editor. Baingana obtained a law degree from Makerere University, Uganda, and an M.F.A. from the University of Maryland where she was later a writer in residence. Her collection of linked short stories, Tropical Fish (2005), won the 2006 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the AWP Award for Short Fiction. Some other short stories by Baingana include  Hunger(2005), The Exam, Christianity killed the cat (2009) and the children’s books Gamba the Gecko Wants to Drum, and My Fingers are Stuck (2010). She also established Mawazo Africa Writing Institute, a creative arts company whose mission is to nurture African writers so as to enhance literary production across the continent.

Tomi Adeyemi (b 1993) is a Nigerian-American writer and creative writing coach. Her debut young adult fiction novel Children of Blood and Bone (2018), is the first in a trilogy to be published by Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group. Adeyemi graduated from Harvard University with an honors degree in English Literature then studied West African mythology and culture in Salvador, Brazil on a fellowship. Children of Blood and Bone is set for a film adaptation after Fox 2000 purchased the rights to the book.

Elieshi Lema (b 1949) is a Tanzanian writer. Lema studied library science and English literature before pursuing a Masters in Creative writing at San Francisco State University. She began by writing poetry and children’s books in Swahili and published her first novel, Parched Earth, in English in 2001.Ten years later she penned In the Belly of Dar es Salaam, and it was shortlisted for the Burt Award for African literature. Lema is also the co-owner of  E & D Vision Publishing which publishes textbooks, children’s books and fiction.

Najwa Bin Shatwan(b 1970) is a Libyan academic, novelist and playwright. She is the author of three collections of short stories and three novels, including Horses Hair (2007), Orange Content (2008) and Slave Pens which was shortlisted for the 2017 International Prize for Arabic fiction. Although her novels have yet been translated, one of her short stories was featured in Banthology: Stories from Unwanted Nations (2017), a publication in response to Trump’s entry ban from seven Muslim majority countries.

Imbolo Mbue (b 1982) is a Cameroonian-American writer. Mbue holds a B.S. from Rutgers University and an M.A. from Columbia University. Her debut novel, Behold the Dreamers (2016), won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the Blue Metropolis Words to Change Award and was an Oprah’s Book Club selection. Other short stories by Mbue include Emke (2015) and A Reversal (2017) as well as the essays How to Vote as an Immigrant and a Citizen (2016) and With Every Inch, The Challenge Multiplies, Me and my Afro (2017).
About the Writer:

Rosie Olang’ smiles with her eyebrows, is eternally grateful for caffeine and believes that in a parallel universe she is an elephant. She’s constantly thinking about the intersections of visual arts, poetry and literature.