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AWE Bookclub_The First Woman

Jennifer Makumbi – The First Woman

Sat Nov 21st & Tues Nov 24th

Authors.Cafe is delighted to announce the first in a series of creative writing workshops linked to the Africa Writes — Exeter Book Club and which explore language, history and craft. 

We have free places for writers from Devon to join writers from East Africa in an online workshop, about how to choose a point of view as an author.

Writing Craft Workshop: Locating Point of View

Led by Saseni!’s Billy Kahora

Date: Saturday 21 November

Time: 1pm — 3pm (Nairobi), 10am —12pm (UK)

Where: Join our mailing list Authors.Cafe for details

Workshop participants are encouraged to attend and ask question to Jennifer Makumbi via a live event on:

Date: Tuesday 24 November

Time: 4pm – 5pm  (UK) 

Interview: Jennifer Makumbi & Billy Kahora

Where: Crowdcast – Register Here 

Saturday 21 November Workshop

This 2-hour creative writing workshop with Billy Kahora explores point of view and narrative voice, building out of dialogue with Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi’s novel The First Woman. 

Point of view (POV) is an integral tool in writing craft and the lens through which all stories are located. 

In The First Woman, Makumbi reworks histories, folklore and genres, deconstructing critical moments in Uganda’s past and exploring myth-making’s relationship to voice, through the perspective of a young woman Kirabo who is navigating a changing world.

In this workshop you will delve deep into the multiple decisions and techniques at stake for locating and positioning your writing — and the implications of this for relationships with characters, setting and readers.

Workshop Preparation

Ahead of the workshop, participants are also asked to read:

this extract from Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi’s The First Woman  

this interview with Makumbi talking about the novel’s engagement with myth, feminism and ideas of home

Zadie Smith’s essay ‘Fascinated to Presume: In Defense of Fiction’ 

an excerpt from Christopher Castellani’s, ‘The Art of Perspective’ (available on joining).

Please bring to the workshop a 500-word excerpt from any fiction you’ve written illustrating the use of POV. Be prepared to share this with the rest of the workshop!We will also share guiding questions for our workshop discussion. 

Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi’s The First Woman

‘Jennifer Makumbi is a genius storyteller.’ – Reni Eddo-Lodge

For one young girl, discovering what it means to become a woman in a family, a community and a country determined to silence her will take all the courage she has.

Growing up in a small Ugandan village, Kirabo is surrounded by powerful women. Her grandmother, her aunts, her friends and cousins are all desperate for her to conform, but Kirabo is inquisitive, headstrong and determined. Up until now, she has been perfectly content with her life at the heart of this prosperous extended family, but as she enters her teenage years, she begins to feel the absence of the mother she has never known. The First Woman follows Kirabo on her journey to becoming a young woman and finding her place in the world, as her country is transformed by the bloody dictatorship of Idi Amin.

Buy The First Woman HERE

About Billy Kahora

Billy Kahora is the author of the short story collection The Cape Cod Bicycle War and the non-fiction novella The True Story of David Munyakei. He wrote the screenplay for Soul Boy and co-wrote Nairobi Half Life which won the Kalasha awards.  He worked for nearly a decade for Kenya’s leading literary publisher Kwani Trust, editing seven issues of the Kwani? journal. He currently teaches creative writing at the University of Bristol. He is the founder of Saseni! — a new African creative writing teaching initiative that connects higher and vocational education and the creative arts on the African continent.

To join Saturday’s workshop join our mailing list Authors.Cafe

Presented in partnership with Saseni!, Authors.CafeJalada AfricaFestival of IdeasLibraries Unlimited and the University of Exeter.

This event is part of the Africa Writes – Exeter Book Club series which is being launched through Exeter’s UNESCO City of Literature Programme.

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