Book Review: Queer Africa 2: New Stories - GALA

TSHILISANANI NDOU

Queer Africa 2: New Stories is the sequel to Queer Africa: New and Collected Fiction which was published in 2013. The first book won a prestigious award a year after being published, the first in Africa to win the 26th Lambda Literary Award in the fiction anthology category. The book is now being included in the syllabus of some well-known universities across South Africa. The book has also been translated into Spanish and it is currently in the process of being translated into Arabic.

Queer Africa 2 is another success story for the Gay and Lesbian Memory in Action (GALA) organization. The book has 26 fictional stories that touch on being African and queer. These stories are set in different countries in the world; The USA, Nigeria and South Africa, with most of the characters experiencing some turmoil in their life.

Most of the stories resonate a similar theme; sex, queerness and love. Some of the stories even shed some light on homophobia, as well as other challenges queer people face, especially in countries where homosexuality is punishable by death. Another story gave some insight into how religion and societal standards may influence how people express the true nature of their sexuality.

The message conveyed in these stories is that love trumps all, and that it is unfair that we live in a society that still strips other human beings of their basic human rights. It is unfair that a person’s safety becomes compromised just because of who they love. The book also brings to light the plight faced by lesbians in the townships - woman who are persecuted gruesomely murdered in the townships, yet society is silent about it. These authors are the good people that are not being silenced. They are using their words to challenge what is perceived as the norm.

The book features stories by authors Emma Paulet, Zukolwenkosi Zikalala, Nancy Lindah Ilamwenya, Unoma Azuah, Victor Lewis, Alistair Mackay and many more. The stories are thought provoking. The authors do not hold back with words so raw that they paint a picture so vividly perfect it immerses you in the character’s world. The book will leave you in awe.

4/5

 

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