Boston Review & The Against Nature Journal to Host Panel on Binyavanga Wainaina’s Fiction

Inspired by the rediscovery of his first published short story in 1996, the publications begin a critical revival of the titanic writer’s fiction.
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Binyavanga Wainaina by Allan Gichigi.

Binyavanga Wainaina by Allan Gichigi.

The Kenyan author Binyavanga Wainana enjoyed an influential career which saw him produce enthralling essays and stories, including the 2002 Caine Prize-winning short story “Discovering Home.” His memoir, One Day I Will Write About This Place (2011), is one of the most distinctive books in postcolonial African literature, and was named a Publishers Weekly Top Ten Book of the Year.

On 14 April, Boston Review and The Against Nature Journal will host a conversation with a group of African thinkers and authors to “initiate a critical revival” of Wainana’s fiction, which were unarguably less heralded than his other works. The event follows the rediscovery of his first short story, “Binguni!” (1996), now republished in Boston Review.

From the invitation page:

Kenyan writer Binyavanga Wainana (1971-2019) was among the greatest of his generation. A winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing, in the final decade of his life he had become as well a celebrated speaker, and was even named by TIME to its list of “Most Influential People in the World.” He was also an out gay man and a tireless advocate for the rights of sexual minorities.

The unusual velocity of his most famous essays, especially “How to Write About Africa” (2005) and “I’m a Homosexual, Mum” (2014), means that many readers think of him mainly as an essayist and memoirist. But he was also a gifted writer of fiction.

This conversation takes place on the occasion of the republication of his first short story “Binguni!” (1996), by Boston Review’s Arts in Society project and The Against Nature Journal, and aims to initiate a critical revival of Wainana’s fiction.

Panelists expected to speak at the event are Oris Aigbokhaevbolo, Aruni Kashyap, Neo Sinoxolo Musangi, Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor, and Granta editor and publisher Sigrid Rausing.

  How Pride Afrique Created a Conversation Space for Queer Progress

Click HERE to register.

Read “Binguni!” HERE.

Emmanuel Esomnofu
Emmanuel Esomnofu is a staff writer at Open Country Mag. He is a culture journalist and has written extensively on Nigerian music and on several moving parts of popular culture. His writing appears online in Native Mag, Okay Africa, Kalahari Review, Praxis Magazine, and elsewhere. He was published in print in The Muse, the oldest student journal in West Africa. In December 2020, he worked on "Fuji: A Opera" as a copywriter, creating informative and exciting stories from Fuji's rich history.

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