Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “How to Write about Africa” as Want to Read:
How to Write about Africa
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

How to Write about Africa

4.44 of 5 stars 4.44  ·  rating details  ·  64 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
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about How to Write about Africa, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about How to Write about Africa

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 336)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
How could you not love a book with this title that starts, "Some tips: sunsets and starvation are good."
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.
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.
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.
Tracy Tinga
Tracy Tinga marked it as to-read
Jan 24, 2015
James is currently reading it
Jan 22, 2015
Imade marked it as to-read
Jan 21, 2015
Raymond marked it as to-read
Jan 20, 2015
Gisela Blue
Gisela Blue marked it as to-read
Jan 15, 2015
Obiamaka marked it as to-read
Jan 13, 2015
Shalea marked it as to-read
Jan 12, 2015
Suchetha marked it as to-read
Jan 06, 2015
Pauline Kit
Pauline Kit marked it as to-read
Jan 05, 2015
Maluba added it
Jan 05, 2015
Kate marked it as to-read
Jan 04, 2015
Alice marked it as to-read
Jan 04, 2015
Joan Christie
Joan Christie marked it as to-read
Jan 02, 2015
Muzayen Sultan
Muzayen Sultan marked it as to-read
Dec 27, 2014
Jesse Mugo
Jesse Mugo marked it as to-read
Dec 27, 2014
Margaret Miles
Margaret Miles marked it as to-read
Dec 23, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Of Africa
  • Happiness, Like Water
  • Abyssinian Chronicles
  • Dreams in a Time of War: A Childhood Memoir
  • Song of Lawino & Song of Ocol
  • On Black Sisters Street: A Novel
  • Two Thousand Seasons
  • An Image of Africa
  • Profanations
  • Efuru
  • In the United States of Africa
  • The Hairdresser of Harare
  • Arrows of Rain
  • Measuring Time
  • The Radiance of the King
  • Smouldering Charcoal
  • Search Sweet Country
  • Tests of Time
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...
One Day I Will Write About This Place: A Memoir Discovering Home Beyond the River Yei: Life in the Land Where Sleeping Is a Disease Kwani? 03 Kwani? 04

Share This Book