Get our free newsletter
Spurred by the recent success of novelists like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Teju Cole, West African writers are enjoying a wave of critical acclaim for stories inspired by their home countries and cultures. To share these emerging voices with audiences who might have enjoyed Things Fall Apart in high school but haven’t read much else by African authors, the PEN/Faulkner Foundation has gathered Nigerian writers Okey Ndibe (pictured), Chinelo Okparanta, and Taiye Selasi to discuss their work, much of it based in the African immigrant experience, in D.C. Ndibe, a political essayist and novelist, came to the U.S. in the late ’80s at the invitation of the most well-known and canonized of all West African writers, Chinua Achebe. Selasi, born in London and raised outside of Boston, penned her first novella under the guidance of Toni Morrison, and went on to publish the acclaimed novel Ghana Must Go in 2013. Okparanta’s collection of short stories, Happiness, Like Water, explores the lives of African women as they navigate complex personal relationships. Pass on another suburban American melodrama and sample works influenced by another, less familiar part of the world. The reading begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Folger Elizabethan Theatre, 201 East Capitol St. SE. $15. (202) 544-4600. folger.edu.