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Books

Zura Maids is the cover name of an employment agency for house maids. However it is a secret holding ground used by a powerful ring of human traffickers in this electrifying drama. This is a story of a young woman Lena who dares to dream and turn her dreams into reality as she fights to rescue herself and other girls from the traffickers. But how far can she go with such a powerful network of influential men and women. She must make a choice.

This anthology is a substantial proof that writing can be a decisive component in the disclosure of invisible traumas but, just equally important, this anthology evidences the necessity to provide the traumatised victim with an audience who is willing to listen to her/his story. Authored by Ugandan writers and enriched with poetry, short story and narrative at large, this collection will open up your eyes to the hearts and feelings of its characters.

We follow Chelimo, a brilliant young woman from Kapchorwa, one of the most beautiful places in Eastern Uganda. Chelimo discovers that she has been duped by her people. She also discovers that many other young women in her community are continue to be duped because whoever gets duped keeps quiet and walks through life carrying pain like a cross. But what can she do? She is aware that talking has a high price to pay. It will set her at war with her people and she is not sure she is ready to pay the price. But so is remaining quiet because it will set her against her conscience.

An independent-minded self-confident and ambitious girl is determined to reach the top without using men’s coat tails to do so. She believes women have more going for them by society. But what happens when she is waylaid by love, with all its power to subdue and overwhelm. It becomes a lesson in self-discovery. Written against the backdrop of the turbulent early eighties, Cassandra is a compelling story that is a girl’s statement on life and how to balance gender roles to transform society positively.

CASSANDRA

A Woman’s voice is a compelling collection of twelve short stories that speak of human relationships, courage and endurance of the Ugandan woman in the face of hardships and social injustices that tag at her. This collection offers a variety of readable material based on real, if sometimes controversial and provocative experiences in a woman’s life in Uganda.
The stories listed are:
Looking for my mother by Lillian Tindyebwa
Mad Apio by Susan Kiguli
Behind closed doors by Lillian Barenzi
Joanitta’s nightmare by Hope Keshubi
A sacrifice for maayi by Ayeta Anne Wangusa
Santus by Dominic Dipio
The last one to know by Violet Barungi
Where is she by Philo Nabweru
Hidden identity by Goretti Kyomuhendo
Those days in Iganga by Regina Amollo
Becoming a Woman by Hilda Twongyeirwe

A last swim in a condemned pool leads a troubled teenager and her grandmother to common ground…
A young woman finds it so hard to make her way in the city that she takes a drastic decision…
A couple receives relationship counseling from a strange family grouping…
A boy meets two exiles from Rwanda-one of them a gorilla – with remarkable results…
A woman summons her father back from the dead…
In addition, 12 writers took part in the Caine prize writers’ workshop and each produced a special story in this insightful, arresting and entertaining volume which reflects the richness and range of current writing on the African continent.

The shortlisted stories for the 2012 Caine prize- Africa’s leading literary prize-offer five memorable snapshots of life on the African continent in all its diversity. Ten writers from six different African countries took part and they each produced a special story for this volume. These stories are filled with the richness and range of current writing on the continent. They underline the primacy of the short story and its oral antecedents, at the very heart of African literature. The shortlisted authors are:
Rotim Babatunde (Nigeria) for Bombay’s Republic
Billy Kahora (Kenya) for Urban Zoning
Stanley Kenani (Malawi) for Love on Trial
Melissa Tandiwe Myambo (Zimbabwe) for La Salle de Depart
Constance Myburg (South Africa) for Hunter Emmanuel

The shortlisted stories for the 2013 Caine Prize- Africa’s leading literary prize is a collection of five arresting, diverse, provocative snapshots of a continent and its descendants captured at a time of accelerating change.
These stories show yet again the richness and range of current writing on the continent. They underline the primacy of the short story, with its oral antecedents, at the very heart of African literature, making it a worth read.

In addition, 12 writers from six different African countries took part in the Caine prize writers’ workshop and each produced a special story for this volume.
The shortlisted authors are:
Tope Folarin (Nigeria) for Miracle
Pede Hollist ( Sierra Leone) for Foreign Aid
Abubakar Adam Ibrahim (Nigeria) for The Whispering Trees
Elnathan John ( Nigeria) for Bayan Layi
Chinelo Okparanta (Nigeria) for America.

NO HEARTS AT HOME

Christine Oryema-Lalobo is a harsh strong voice in the. Wilderness pointing to the cancerous effect of war, hitting hard at obstinate egoistic forces. This is an expose of the anguish and tortured souls of children who never chose this situation but became the central victims of it. The burst of feeling as if rolled in a hard ball of intensity entices and frightens simultaneously. The raw anger and the poets poking a festering wound makes this poem an earthquake. In a fascinating blend of different voices, a country is put on trial

A Ugandan woman is forced to trade the romantic dream of her youth for a mundane marriage, based on outmoded rules and obligations. The portrait of Elizabeth Sera, the protagonist, is that of a woman ‘more sinned against than sinning.’ Her attempt to balance the need for social respectability and the dictates of her heart lead to painful discoveries, which finally force her to assert her individuality against oppressive social norms.

MEMOIRS OF A MOTHER

This is a tale of compelling human interest, and an extremely talented translation of history into literary art. It is a fictionalized record of a tragic national experience which every Ugandan will readily recognize. Spanning the decades of successive regimes, a sad story of Africa’s post-colonial political actors typified by thinly disguised Presidents Opolo, Duduma, Polle and Kazi. The Weevil, the central image of the novel, manifests itself in many forms. Karooro Okurut’s gender-sensitive stance informs the texture of the entire novel, whose heroine is the tender, assertive and admirable Nkwanzi.

INVISIBLE WEEVIL

This is an award winning collection of Susan Kiguli’s poetry. Her poetry reminds us that poetry is truly a miracle of the common place. She uses impressively mature expression, and confident voice producing ripples of excitement.

AFRICAN SAGA

This poetry anthology offers a feast and face of poetry as it currently is in Uganda. It is all encompassing and presents a variety of writers ranging from seasoned voices to new ones of great promise. The voices are adventurous, reflective, provocative and even sassy. The poets explore with passion diverse themes from the private to the public realm reassuring the reader that poetry is about everything and is perhaps everything. This is a welcome and priceless addition to Uganda poetry Anthology.

This is the first collection of poems devoted to her work and brilliantly written; Kiconco rubS her creative lamp and adequately paints what life offers in its contradictory terms of freshness, spontaneity, stress, sanity and survival. These realities are some of the bare bones that give her poetry quality. They are packed in stanzas like pocket handkerchiefs into each day.

From the origins of life and its antithesis, death through tradition as opposed to modernity, through depredations and ravages of war, HIV/AIDS, marital infidelity, school experiences, to the importance of resilience, this anthology traverses a broad literary territory both in terms of themes and styles. Here you will find the voices of women from different parts of Uganda joined together by a commonality of concerns.

GIFTS OF HARVEST

Rwandan refugees have fled to Uganda on several occasions. Secrets No More follows one of the refugees, Marina, a survivor of the grisly 1994 Rwanda genocide. As a child, she is treasured by her parents and later as an orphan, she is favored by the old Italian priest who runs the orphanage. But another trauma once again forces her to flee the orphanage to the city, where her life crosses that of another escapee, George. But even then, she cannot get rid of the ghosts from her past. Quiet but attractive, Marina exerts power over everyone she meets.

A Blind girl makes a pilgrimage to Lagos in search of a faith-healing miracle… A boy in a children’s home discovers the truth about his origins…In apartheid Johannesburg, an Indian Insurance agent is honored by his white bosses but his wife feels more than a little uneasy…A schoolboy and his gang investigate the mystery of the alien living in a shed…Dreams and reality merge menacingly in the last days of a former freedom fighter served by an old comrade and rival…

The pot and other stories is a collection of stories from the 6th FEMRITE Residency for African Women Writers. Some stories paint everyday life with a light comic touch as in the story in which a policeman sees the future of his marriage suddenly tied to the destiny of a cooking pot, while others use the mundane as the vehicle to probe difficult questions of destiny or the role of a local story-telling in a country with a brutal history.

Pumpkin seeds and other stories is a collection of stories from different parts of Africa and from different cultures. The writers tell of defiance, and spin hilarious tales of elopement and wry tales of despair, loss and lovelessness. Some of the poems lift up the heart, and others peel back the blinkers that blind our eyes. There is the romantic, the macabre and the surreal.

Sixteen African women writers ably deal with the politics of nationhood and identity, and the burden and beauty of womanity. From the serious, to the absurd to the seriously absurd, these stories will leave you pondering, crying and laughing as you travel from East Africa to Southern Africa through to West Africa. If you don’t know any of these writers yet, hold your breath because you will want to tell everyone that you read them here first. A beautiful collection with 16 well written, well-plotted stories from 16 amazing African female story tellers.

This is a collection of 15 short stories, which tell different tales and recapture different experiences. These stories explore various aspects of life and high-light issues of concern in contemporary Uganda and offer the reader a glimpse into the lives of ordinary people faced with odds and how they deal with them, each in their unique way. From the dramatic to the lyrical, the humorous to the absurd and the poignant, the stories are written in a range of different styles and offer diverse readings for a variety of different literary tastes.

WORDS FROM A GRANARY

This is a collection of transcribed audio testimonies from women living in areas affected by the war between Ugandan government forces and the Lord’s Resistance Army in Northern Uganda. The women were interviewed by members of FEMRITE in January 2008. These true stories reveal how war has impacted on the lives of ordinary women, many of whom were displaced from their communities and now survive in camps for the internally displaced.

This is a collection of short stories from the 2nd FEMRITE Residency for African Women Writers. Writers from across English-speaking Africa contribute stories as diverse as the continent itself, stories that explore universal concerns in acutely individual ways. Among others, an upper-class Ghanaian confronts the irony of race from a prison cell; a Zambian mourns her sister and tackles the restrictions of tradition in a surprisingly humorous way; In Tanzania, two strangers go to extremes to seek elusive health; a Ugandan house wife reflects on personal and world politics as she watches a dog fight; another Ghanaian remembers a love affair that led her into an ancestor’s embrace; two Nigerians shopping in London get more than they bargained for; and children cry tears of pain and happiness during armed conflict (in a story by Ugandan Beatrice Lamwaka, nominated for the 2011 Caine prize). There is more in this rich store of emotion, reflection and ultimately, truth that is best revealed through fiction.

In talking Tales a variety of women tell their stories in prose and poetry. They cast their nets wide, hauling in themes that celebrate as much as they castigate and mourn There is the delight of discovering oneself on the cusp of womanhood, and of hearing about success in the fight for women’s emancipation. There is also the wonder at the restorative power of love. However the murkier side of human life is explored too: the failed search for love, unwanted advances, misunderstood affinities, incest, betrayal, disillusionment, unfruitful enterprise, domestic violence, corruption, brutality, injustice, the capriciousness of fortune…the realistic, the near-fantastic and the bizarre all find their place here.

TALKING TALES

The traumatized woman who dies of grief, the girl whose dream to become a doctor is thwarted, the little girl who raises a vulnerable family of little children because her parents and all her relatives have been killed by LRA rebels, and many other harrowing tales comprise this collection of Farming Ashes. These are life experiences told by Northern Uganda about the atrocities that they have endured for over two decades at the hands of the notorious rebel leader, Joseph Kony and his vicious lieutenants.

FARMING ASHES

This is a compilation of testimonies and poems about the humiliation of female genital mutilation, and about the resulting deprivation and loss. It encompasses accounts, factual in some cases and lyrical in others, of the experience of this practice lived or witnessed and the visceral responses to the practice. The anger is palpable, the bafflement tangible. Beside the pain, though, is the hope borne of the voices raised by governments, organizations, institutions and individuals, urging a stop to the practice and coaxing oft-unwilling communities into abandoning it or transforming it into a meaningful ritual that builds up rather than ruins.

BEYOND THE DANCE

Born in a happy family as the only girl and the last born of three, life did not remain the same. Losing a father at just three years and a mother at fourteen due to HIV left Susan to the mercies of whom it may concern. The only uncle holding her hand also tragically slips away. A God sent fellow brought back the lost hope and saw her graduate as a social/ community worker. Through creativity, hard work, commitment, and knowing who she is, Susan can give a success story to inspire and bring back hope to the hopeless that they can make it too.

This is a collection of stories from the 3rd FEMRITE Residency for African Women Writers. It addresses themes of love, betrayal, abuse and confessions in bold and emotive ways. The protagonists respond to universal challenges in unexpected ways that keep the reader engaged from start to finish. Stories by writers such as Ugandan Beatrice Lamwaka and Ghanaian Mamle Kabu(Winner of the Burt Award for Children Writing 2011 and shortlisted for the 2011 and 2009 Caine Prize) will captivate you, but so will the vibrant and diverse range of voices from Uganda, Namibia, South Africa, Cameroon, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Malawi, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe.