An African Literary Festival for the Age of Coronavirus.
Book events worldwide are on hold, but Afrolit Sans Frontieres uses social media to host frank discussions around writing, creativity, sex and violence.
For the novelist Maaza Mengiste, the coronavirus lockdowns and stay-at-home measures that have taken hold around the world have brought back the sense of exile she felt when she and her family fled Ethiopia in the 1970s.
So it was a welcome reprieve when she was asked to participate in and help curate a virtual literary festival focused on connection — specifically, between writers of African origin and readers throughout the continent and globe.
“I jumped at the chance,” she said in a phone interview from Zurich. “Doing this online breaks a lot of boundaries that felt insurmountable.”