Nearly three decades after her pioneering anthology, 'Daughters of Africa', Margaret Busby curates an extraordinary collection of contemporary writing by 200 women writers of African descent, including Zadie Smith, Bernardine Evaristo and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
A glorious portrayal of the richness and range of African women's voices, this major international book brings together their achievements across a wealth of genres. From Antigua to Zimbabwe and Angola to the USA, over-looked artists of the past join key figures, popular contemporaries and emerging writers in paying tribute to the heritage that unites them, the strong links that endure from generation to generation, and their common obstacles around issues of race, gender and class. Margaret Busby is joined by two of the contributors to the anthology, Patience Agbabi and Hannah Azieb Pool.
Margaret Busby is a major cultural figure in Britain and around the world. She was born in Ghana and educated in the UK. She became Britain's youngest and first black woman publisher when she co-founded Allison & Busby in the late 1960s and published notable authors including Buchi Emecheta, Nuruddin Farah, C. L. R. James and Michael Moorcock. A writer, editor, broadcaster and literary critic, she has also written drama for BBC radio and the stage. Her radio abridgements and dramatisations encompass work by Henry Louis Gates, Timothy Mo, Walter Mosley, Jean Rhys, Sam Selvon and Wole Soyinka. She has interviewed high-profile writers (among them Toni Morrison and Ngugi wa Thiong'o), judged prestigious literary prizes, including the Booker Prize, and served on the boards of such organisations as the Royal Literary Fund, Wasafiri magazine, and the Africa Centre in London.
Patience Agbabi is a sought-after poet, novelist, performer and mentor who has spent over 20 years celebrating the written and spoken word. A former Poet Laureate of Canterbury and cited as one of the Next Generation Poets, she has more recently turned her hand to writing novels for middle graders as part of an exciting quartet, the first of which, 'The Infinite', was published in 2020, and more recently 'The Time Thief'. Her writing has appeared on radio and TV and she has toured around the world to festivals and events, both independently, and with the British Council.
Hannah Azieb Pool is Artistic Director & CEO of the Bernie Grant Arts Centre and founder of the Tottenham Literature Festival. A journalist for over 20 years, Hannah Azieb has written for many international publications and is the author of two books: 'Fashion Cities Africa' and 'My Fathers’ Daughter'. She was previously the Senior Programmer for Contemporary Culture at the Southbank Centre, where she curated Africa Utopia, the annual festival celebrating arts and ideas from across Africa and the diaspora; she was also a lead programmer of the WOW Women of the World festival.
"The collection... offers fascinating insights into the present. Busby opens the door wide and allows her readers to witness the conversations that have occurred between black women writers, conversations about culture, love, inheritance and more, without mediation from the powerful institutions of publishing and academia. The effect is marvellous.”
-The Financial Times