2009, Fri, Dec 04

What's Literature got to do with it?

Binyavanga Wainaina | (c) Thomas Sayer Ellis

Binyavanga Wainaina | (c) Thomas Sayer Ellis

The second LIFELINES edition focuses on Nuruddin Farah, acclaimed as one of Africa’s greatest contemporary writers and regarded as a likely candidate for the Nobel Prize for Literature. Together with Nuruddin Farah, LIFELINES explores his biographical and literary paths in an exchange with friends and fellow-writers past and present.

How are African writers perceived? And by whom and in what context? What conventions are read into their writings? Is there a tension between an obligatory social commentary and artistic and aesthetic expression? The discussion explores African literatures’ locations and roles beyond conventional political and social implications.

Talk: Nuruddin Farah, Binyavanga Wainaina, Susan Arndt

Moderation: Barbara Wahlster


Kenyan author and journalist Binyavanga Wainaina founded and edits the “Kwani?“ literary magazine. In 2009, he was appointed to run the Chinua Achebe Center at Bard College. In 2002, he received the prestigious Caine Prize for African Writing for his short story “Discovering Home”. African and literary scholar Susan Arndt writes on intertextuality, performance, popular culture, women’s literature and feminism in Africa, as well as racism, diaspora and Black Europe. Barbara Wahlster is a writer and translator, and an arts editor for Deutschlandradio Kultur.


In co-operation with Suhrkamp Verlag

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