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How to Write about Africa
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How to Write about Africa

4.43 of 5 stars 4.43  ·  rating details  ·  60 ratings  ·  10 reviews
This trio of sharp-witted essays takes irony to a new level. In 'How to Write About Africa', Wainaina dissects the cliché of Africa and the preconceptions dear to western writers and readers with ruthless precision. In the same fashion, ‘My Clan KC’ undresses the layers of meaning shrouding the identity of the infamous Kenya Cowboy, while ‘Power of Love’ bemusedly recollec ...more
Paperback, 52 pages
Published 2006 by Kwani Trust
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How could you not love a book with this title that starts, "Some tips: sunsets and starvation are good."
Using brutal satire, Wainaina absolutely eviscerates cliched Western journalism about Africa and the self-serving mentality of many of those who want to "help." And all in just a few small pages! Genius booklet that all Westerners dealing with Africa should read, even if it hurts us a little.
Aug 13, 2012 Beth78 added it
Sharp-witted and sarcastic look at how Africa is viewed by the rest of the world. This collection of essays made me laugh at how wrong Eurocentric views of Africa are. A must read for those interested in a satirical look at books written by non-Europeans.
Bright, smart, savage, and in a beautiful mini-book design.
Achieng Onguru
Short and sweet! Here I was thinking 'I Dreamed Of Africa' was the most awesome piece of literature Ha!
Patti Greene
This was an interesting little booklet! I enjoyed the part about writing about Africa, but then the book veered into talking about Kenya and Kenyans without any note on the front or back cover about covering Kenya. I was really looking for information about Africa in general! However, the author sounds witty and brilliant-I would love to meet him.
Ha, Ha but with sadness.
The parallels between his essay and history within America or for the matter oppressed groups and the oppressors is frightening and IMO true. Self serving across the board and highlights ignorance of the general populace.
Must read and one should take the time to reflect on the subject matter.
A sarcastic book towards foreign writers who are looking to write about the African continent.
It addresses the usual cliches applied by those who've already written about the continent.
Hard hitting.
I gave it 4 stars because I was only interested in reading the article 'how to write about africa', which I thoroughly enjoyed.
A thousand stars.
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Binyavanga Wainaina is a short story writer, essayist, and journalist.

He is the founding editor of Kwani?, a leading African literary magazine based in Kenya, and he directs the Chinua Achebe Center for African Writers and Artists at Bard College.

He won the 2002 Caine Prize for African Writing, and has written for many journals, including Vanity Fair, National Geographic, One Story, Tin House, Vir
More about Binyavanga Wainaina...
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