African Literature Conference a Big Success

African Literature Conference a Big Success

A good time was had by all at the “Evening With African Authors”!  Pictured above from left are Pat Plonski, Judy Hawkinson, Tom Gitaa, Alexandra Fuller, Billy Karanja Kahora, and Uwem Akpan.

Books For Africa hosted two events celebrating modern African literature on October 9, 2010. The first was a Conference on African Literature at the Humphrey Center at the University of Minnesota, featuring a panel discussion and readings from three distinguished authors: Alexandra Fuller (Zimbabwe), Uwem Akpan (Nigeria), and Billy Karanja Kahora (Kenya). Thomson Reuters was the Presenting Sponsor. Nuruddin Farah (Somalia) spoke at a separate event at the University of Minnesota on October 8.

View slideshow of Evening with African Authors.

(Photos by Rebecca Oehrig of Liminality,

View slideshow of Conference on African Literature.

BFA Executive Director Pat Plonski, Dan Melin of Follett Educational Services, and BFA Board President Tom Gitaa presenting Follett Educational Services with the 2010 BFA Award of Merit for providing millions of books for shipment to children in Africa.

The second event on October 9 was an intimate evening with the authors at the University Club in Saint Paul, Minnesota, featuring a keynote address by Alexandra Fuller, author of Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight. The reception was made possible thanks to a generous donation by John Rupp.

Fuller grew up in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and currently resides in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, USA. During her keynote address, she spoke of the importance of books and her appreciation for freedom of speech. She also discussed the profound influence of her mother, and recounted some of her experiences fighting injustice.

Alexandra Fuller presents the keynote address at the BFA reception in honor of African authors.