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Showing posts from October, 2011

Vitabubooks Blog | Frightful Halloween with Poe and Tutuola

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Rain, snow and wind have kept me indoors most of the day. Except for a morning walk to the local shop, I've been on the couch. Not even the delightful Waverly Farmers' Market on Baltimore's 32nd could drag me out to eat or play. Bundled up, I channel zap aimlessly for a bit before walking over to the book case for inspiration.

My hands rested on an old Edgar Allan Poe. I thought of a friend who'd mentioned a Halloween fund raiser somewhere in Baltimore. Come to think of it, an arts program on TV had mentioned the city was having a few parties for Poe. One of them even promised an evening with him playing “Ghost Host With The Most at the most ghoulish event” billed to be “great fun for the living and the dead.” Sounded like fun (and I wish them pots of money) but with Baltimore's weather as frightful as it is, stepping out to celebrate Halloween isn't too appealing. A book or two might do the trick.

So I settle for one of Poe's horror-filled shorts a…

Vitabubooks Blog | Calabar Calabar... restoring the Ancient Marina by Enuma Chigbo

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Ignorance would get the better of me many a time. A case point is a statement I made in my kitchen in Lagos many years ago: “[T]wo places in Nigeria I cannot imagine visiting— Sokoto and Calabar.” I would say this, perhaps in the same location, with this contraption called my nose way up in the air. However, all of that changed when a special birthday party took me to Calabar sometime in 1999.

I marveled as I moved around the clean and serene city of Calabar...quaint, unspoiled by the corruptible winds that seemed to pervade the rest of the nation. Over time, I got to learn a lot about the land of Calabar, also known as the Canaan city. I got to learn more about her convivial people, piled on several pounds from overindulging in her extraordinary cuisine and perhaps, most importantly, discovered her amazing yet dilapidated tourist sites.

Calabar, the first capital of Nigeria, seemed to have a unique take on the history of West Africa. I had heard stories of how royals sold thei…

Vitabubooks | Yewa S. Holiday reviews The Importance of Being Seven by Alexander McCall Smith

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Yewa S. Holiday went to see Alexander McCall Smith at this year’s Hay Festival of Literature and Arts. She found him, in life, "to be much as he is in his books: amusing even when serious, courteous and charmingly old-fashioned." Below is a short review from Yewa for Vitabubooks.

I first got to know McCall Smith’s writing through The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, a warmly wise series set in Botswana. [Then] quickly moved through many of his other books from the hilarious 2½ Pillars of Wisdom to the more sedate Sunday Philosophy Club series to the 44 Scotland Street books.

The Importance of Being Seven, Alexander McCall Smith’s sixth novel in this set, is charming, entertaining and funny with the undertow of wisdom and ethics which seem to course through all of McCall Smith’s work. The books center on the characters who live in the flats at 44 Scotland Street and their relationships with friends, family and the wider world.

Have the newlyweds, Matthew and Elspeth Harm…

Ezekiel Mphahlele Biography | BookRags.com

Celebrated South African writer and teacher Ezekiel Mphahlele (Es'kia Mphahlele) died on October 27th, 2008. Here's a link to one of the best biographies on the webEzekiel Mphahlele Biography | BookRags.com

Kinna Reads announces 2nd Annual Ghanaian Literature Week

Kinna Reads, a leading African lit blogger, has announced that it will host the 2nd annual Ghanaian Literature Week. This year’s reading event is scheduled for Monday, November 14th – Sunday, November 20th. Kinna Reads hosted the event for the first time last year. "[I]t was a lot of fun, although participation was limited to bloggers. This year, I’m opening it up to the world and relaxing the rules somewhat."

To participate:

- Read one or more works by a Ghanaian author or an author of Ghanaian descent. Fiction and non-fiction works are allowed. All forms and genres of fiction are also allowed. These include novels, novellas, short stories, children’s literature, poetry and drama. Literary fiction, faith-based works, romances, mysteries are also included. The length or topic does not matter except that it must be connected to Ghana or touch on some aspect of Ghanaian life. The material must be published as a physical book, an ebook, in a newspaper, in a journal or pu…