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Kathleen Samson

literary researcher, editor, podcaster

Melancholy hope? CA Davids’s How to Be a Revolutionary at the African Book Festival Berlin

“Politics is my first love”, she begins, and it certainly shows as the novel tracks a particular political time and feeling: one where revolutionary hopes give way to futures that fall short of expectation. It is a complex story, succinctly described by the book jacket as “connecting contemporary Shanghai, late Apartheid-era South Africa, and China during the Great Leap Forward and the Tiananmen uprising — and refracting this globe-trotting and time-travelling through [Langston] Hughes’ confessional letters to a South African protégé about the poet’s time in Shanghai [in the 1930s]”.


5 years of Berlin’s African Book Festival

Now in its fifth year running, taking place from 25-27 August in the Alte Münze at Berlin’s Alexanderplatz, the African Book Festival Berlin, organised by the team at InterKontinental, serves as a vital platform for African literature in Berlin’s — and Germany’s — literary scene.


Masande Ntshanga

With his second novel, Masande Ntshanga moves into speculative fiction. Triangulum offers a critical commentary on how colonial and apartheid regimes of segregation have ongoing effects in the postapartheid present of Ntshanga’s writing.