By Joy Sigaud
PUBLISHER AND EDITOR MARGARET BUSBY’S LANDMARK ANTHOLOGY SHOWCASES MORE THAN 200 CONTEMPORARY FEMALE WRITERS OF AFRICAN DESCENT FROM AROUND THE GLOBE TO MUCH ACCLAIM…
Published in 2019 the book continues to inspire and attract both readers and aspiring writers in equal measure. The authors have also now waived their fees to support a project that will provide scholarships for women from Africa to study in the UK at SOAS.
A collaboration between the publishers, Myriad Editions and SOAS these anthologies continue to attract unprecedented interest. The brainchild of editor Margaret Busby OBE, Britain’s first Black female book publisher says “The really exciting and heartwarming part of it all is the award.”
Margaret Busby OBE, Hon. FRSL (Nana Akua Ackon) was born in Ghana and educated in the UK, graduating from London University. She became Britain’s youngest and first black woman publisher when she co-founded Allison & Busby in the late 1960s and has published notable authors including Buchi Emecheta, Nuruddin Farah, Rosa Guy, C. L. R. James,
An editor, broadcaster and literary critic, she has also written drama for BBC radio and the stage, judged numerous literary competitions, and served on the boards of such organisations as the Royal Literary Fund, Wasafiri magazine and the Africa Centre. A long-time campaigner for diversity in publishing, she is the recipient of many awards.
Her latest book “New Daughters of Africa brings together the work of a new generation of female writers of African descent and magnificently achieves its aim of honouring a unIfied heritage while showing the remarkable range of creativity from the African diaspora.” —The Bookseller Editor’s Choice
Showcasing the work of more than 200 women writers of African descent—including Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Zadie Smith, Warsan Shire, Malorie Blackman, Patience Agbabi, Roxanne Gay, Bernadine Evaristo and a host of literary notables of the future —this major international collection celebrates their contributions to literature and international culture.
In 1992 Margaret Busby’s groundbreaking anthology Daughters of Africa illuminated the “silent, forgotten, underrated voices of black women” ( Washington Post). Published to international acclaim, it was hailed as “an extraordinary body of achievement…a vital document of lost history” (The Sunday Times).
New Daughters of Africa continues that mission for a new generation, bringing together a selection of overlooked artists of the past with fresh and vibrant voices that have emerged from across the globe in the past two decades, from Antigua to Zimbabwe and Angola to the USA. Key figures join popular contemporaries in paying tribute to the heritage that unites them. As Margaret Busby notes in her introduction:
“Custom, tradition, friendships, mentor/mentee relationships, romance,
sisterhood, inspiration, encouragement, sexuality, intersectional feminism, the politics of gender, race and identity—within these pages is explored an extensive spectrum of possibilities, in ways that are touching, surprising, angry, considered, joyful, heartrending. Supposedly taboo subjects are addressed head-on and with subtlety, familiar dilemmas elicit new takes.”
Featuring women across the diaspora, New Daughters of Africa illuminates the richness and cultural history of this original continent and its enduring influence, while reflecting our own lives and issues today. It spans a wealth of genres—autobiography, memoir, oral history, letters, diaries, short stories, novels, poetry, drama, humour, politics, journalism, essays and speeches—to demonstrate the diversity and remarkable literary achievements of black women who remain under-represented, and whose works continue to be under- rated, in world culture today.
Bold and insightful, brilliant in its intimacy and universality, this essential volume honours the talents of African daughters and the inspiring legacy that connects them—and all of us. Margaret Busby will be speaking at events around the UK in the coming months.
New Daughters of Africa is available from Amazon, Waterstones and most leading bookstores.