JOHANNESBURG — Africa39, a Hay Festival and Rainbow Book Club project that aims to select and celebrate 39 of the best African south of the Sahara writers under the age of 40, will be launched at a festival in Unesco’s World Book Capital, Port Harcourt, Nigeria, in October this year.
And Novuyo Rosa Tshuma the Zimbabwean-born writer whose debut collection, Shadows, was published by Kwela in South Africa last year, has made the list.
The 39 Project consists of the selection of 39 writers under the age of 40 who have the potential and the talent to define the trends that will mark the future development of literature in a certain language or region.
It was realised for the first time in Bogotá in 2007 and again in Beirut in 2010, resulting in both cases in a Literature Festival in each city with the 39 selected authors from each region — four days of literature, debate and the love of books – with an anthology published of stories or extracts by the authors.
The Africa39 anthology will be published in English by Bloomsbury.
As one of the leading literature festivals in the world, Hay Festival has always been interested in highlighting new talent and has collaborated with the Unesco World Book Capital project so far in Bogotá and Beirut.
This title is awarded to a different city every year to celebrate the quality and variety of its initiatives to promote books, readership and the editorial industry.
This year, Hay Festival has partnered with Rainbow Book Club to celebrate Port Harcourt Unesco World Book Capital 2014 by bringing global attention some of the best new fiction from Africa south of the Sahara.
— The Oprah Magazine