Sunsets and starvation are good

From Binyavanga Wainaina’s How to Write About Africa:

[T]reat Africa as if it were one country. It is hot and dusty with rolling grasslands and huge herds of animals and tall, thin people who are starving. Or it is hot and steamy with very short people who eat primates. Don’t get bogged down with precise descriptions. Africa is big: fifty-four countries, 900 million people who are too busy starving and dying and warring and emigrating to read your book.

The piece appears in the current issue of Granta, which also includes a new story from the very talented Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. (Via Moorish Girl.)

Related: Abbas Raza argues that Paul Theroux needs to stop assuming he’s an authority — because of a Peace Corps stint in the country of Malawi 40 years ago — on what’s best for all of Africa. Raza says Theroux “should stick to doing what he does best: writing gossipy accounts of much better writers than himself.” (Via Making Light, where debate is underway.)


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