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I'm writing this before I get too comfortable after getting home from the Macondo Literary Festival where I had a lovely weekend meeting old reader friends and making new ones. One of the unique joys was encountering newsletter readers like yourself and fielding questions that reminded me I have a wonderful audience.
Sitting in the audience during panels that featured interpreters made evident how much language is an entry point and a point of departure when we are together. Having my high school French stretched to its limit and hearing Portuguese spoken was quite something and it highlighted a language gap - there were no Kenya Sign Language (KSL) interpreters. Witnessing folks fluent in those languages interact with authors was a reminder of the depth of interaction language avails us.
Another week with nary a swim, cycle or run to report. This coming week means a break from wage work so I hope to finally check out the gym and put in a swim or two.
There was a lot of talk about the West. Speaking of it, to it, against it, without it. This may have to do with so many of the authors being based outside the continent and I wondered what a panel would be like where the panellists did not call the global North home. The answer came in today's session with Lutivini Majanja, Carey Baraka and Silas Nyanchwani - 3 Kenyan writers who've all got stamps in their passports but spend most of the year in Kenya. Moderated by Beverly Ochieng' (with whom I once co-hosted the now-defunct podcast 2 Girls & A Pod), it was refreshing to think both locally and globally with these writers (and I say this as an Aboulela/Forna/Makumbi - not in order of importance - fangirl!). I even did that most scary of things - speak, even if my voice shook as I asked my question.
Quick news/ things that may be of interest:
Starting September 27 in Nairobi: the the Nairobi International Book Fair
Dracula Daily continues apace. Jump on if you’re keen
You can send me books, postcards, letters, and assorted items via PO Box 102439, Jamia Posta 00101, Nairobi, Kenya
I have finished three books since I last wrote to you - the e-book versions of Parachute Kids by Betty C. Tang, Return to Sender by Julia Alvarez and Wannabe: Reckonings with the Pop Culture That Shapes Me by Aisha Harris. My latest video is of the books I read in May this year (you can watch it here). To catch the videos I’m working on when they’re done, subscribe to the channel if you haven’t yet!
As ever, please write back to me and tell me what books you’re reading or looking forward to reading — it’s always a great time talking about books.
Enjoy the rest of the week and have a lovely time reading. Talk to you soon!