This month we celebrate the PEN World Voices Festival by showcasing the rich diversity of African writing. In two takes on colonialism, Congo's Alain Mabanckou's "Blue White Red" flags the lasting influence of France on its former subjects, while Abdulrazak Gurnah's Desertion maps British power in Zanzibar. Algerian Yasmina Khadra evokes the end of summer and the dashing of dreams in "Absence." In dispatches from the extremes of teenage life in Ivory Coast, Marguerite Abouet's graphic novel Aya draws us into the conventional life of a carefree adolescent girl, while Amadou Kourouma's exuberantly profane teen soldier explains why "Allah Is Not Obliged." Poet Amina Saïd returns to her native Tunisia in "I Introduce Myself to the World," and Angola's Ondjaki interrupts a doctor's Sunday reverie in "Dragonfly."




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