‘How to Write About Africa’ by Binyavanga Wainaina

Nesrine Malik at The Guardian:

It’s beginning to seem like Binyavanga Wainaina’s satirical essay How to Write About Africa might be, after the Bible, the most read English-language text on the African continent. It skewered cliched writing with a roll call of stereotypes that appear to be obligatory in descriptions of the continent. “Readers will be put off,” he writes, “if you don’t mention the light in Africa. And sunsets – the African sunset is a must.”

The essay touched a nerve, and alongside the short story Discovering Home, which won the Caine prize for African Writing in 2002, established the Kenyan author as both a literary talent and an uncompromising commentator. But neither of these pieces fully does him justice. His death in 2019, at just 48, deprived us of a fierce talent, a real pan-African in both experience and orientation.

more here.