African Literature at UK’s Houses of Parliament
The Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II would on August 15 2016, give a major lecture on Africa’s democratic advances and development under the title, Africa’s Democratic Path and the Search for Economic Transformation at the Attlee Pontius Suit of the British Houses of Parliament in London.
The lecture would have a select audience of two hundred that would include some Members of both Houses, the London diplomatic community, leading policy institutions and faculty of some United Kingdom universities.
A release from the Office of the Shadow Secretary of State for Health and MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, Hon. Diana Abbott in London and the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi said, Lord Paul Boateng of the House of Lords would be the introductory speaker of the Asantehene.
The event has as Special Guest of Honour, the Nigerian Nobel Laureate, playwright and poet, Prof. Wole Soyinka who would reflect on Governance and the literary arts.
The high profile event would also see the launch of two major literary works on Africa: May Their Shadows Never Shrink- Wole Soyinka and the Oxford Professorship of Poetry written by literary historian, author and development specialist, Ivor Agyeman-Duah and a professor of English Language and Literature and Fellow of St Edmund Hall of the University of Oxford, Lucy Newlyn . It is forwarded by leading Harvard University historian and literary scholar, Henry Louis Gates, Jnr.
The other book, a ground-breaking five hundred page is, All the Good Things Around Us- An Anthology of African Short Stories edited by Agyeman-Duah and the most comprehensive new writing by among others, some of Africa’s most influential and award-winning authors: Ben Okri, Ama Ata Aidoo, Chimanmanda Ngozi Adichie, Sefi Atta, Tope Folarin, Tsitsi Dangaremba , Taiye Selasi, Chika Unigwe, Yvonne Owuor, Ogochukwu Promise, Monica Arac de Nyeko, Peggy Appiah, Martin Egblewogbe and Ellen Banda-Aaku .
Both books would be launched by Dr. Augustus Casely-Hayford, the British Curator and Lecturer in World Art at Sotheby’s one of the world’s largest brokers of fine and decorative art and presenter of the BBC TV Series, Lost Kingdoms of Africa and chair of the 2013 Jury of the Caine Prize for African Writing.
The South African-Dutch biographer of Nelson Mandela and Booker Prize jurist -professor of World Literature at Oxford, Elleke Boehmer, has described the anthology as “wordsmiths from across the continent standing in dynamic and memorable conjunction.” The Publishing Director of Ayebia Clarke Publishing (the publishers), Nana Ayebia says the writers “ display their dexterity in a manner in which they deploy language and images to engage their readers’ attention and imagination.” [See www.ayebia.co.uk]