Books Good News for African Writers. (the Arts)

By Mbakwe, Tom | New African, June 2003 | Go to article overview

Books Good News for African Writers. (the Arts)


Mbakwe, Tom, New African


The days when African writers roamed the world looking for non-existent publishers interested in African and black issues, may be coming to an end. A newly launched publishing house in London, Adonis & Abbey Publishers, promises to be what African writers have been waiting for.

There is no shortage of books on black and African experiences in the West. You only have to go into any bookshop or library to see the sheer number available. What seems puzzling, however, is that most of the available books, even those by blacks, seem to subscribe to the same stereotyped theories of blacks and Africans. The idioms and phrases used may be different, and there may even be a few posturing thrown here and there for effect. Beneath the facade, however, writers of particular theoretical persuasions know they are banned from the party.

This is where Adonis &Abbey publishers, a young, London-based publishing outfit, wants to make a difference. Its emblem -- different racial colours of human hands jointly lifting up our globe, underlines its belief in a common human destiny. The company, however, hastens to add that it is particularly interested in books exploring issues that are relevant to black and African experiences.

The publisher, Dr Jideofor Adibe, himself an author and books review editor for a monthly African magazine, told New African: "We welcome books of all genres and we are definitely non-ideological. Our primary interest is in books that have relevance to black and African experiences within the global family. We want books that are well-written, especially those that dare raise debates or bring fresh perspectives to existing discussions in the literature.

Dr Adibe says the company does not discriminate between established and new authors since it is part of its objectives to help new writers break into print.

Adonis & Abbey will have its books published simultaneously in both print and electronic (e-book) formats. "The company has already concluded a deal for the European and USA distribution of our books, including our e-books," says Dr Adibe. The books will be stocked and sold by most of the major booksellers, including Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, Bertrams, Ingram and Baker & Taylor. The company's debut book, Broken Dreams, a novel set in Nigeria and written by Dr Adibe himself, is expected to hit the market in the first week of June.

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