Ep83. A conversation with Yvonne Owuor on development, politics, storytelling, and more

We begin this week’s news wrap with a discussion of some of the best literature of the decade – thanks to a curated list by African Arguments (@africaarguments) – and we are extremely fortunate to feature one of these authors in this episode, Yvonne Owuor (@adhiamboKE). Kim and Rachel also chat about films, China in Africa, cocoa price coordination in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, and a call for applicants to the next meeting of the Working Group in African Political Economy.

Yvonne Owuor is an acclaimed author, winning the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2003 for her short story, The Weight of Whispers, and short-listed for the Folio Prize for her novel Dust (2014).  She has recently published a beautiful coming-of-age story, The Dragonfly Sea (2019), that explores aspects of East African sea imagination in a time of China’s return to its milieu.  Owuor received the (Kenya) Head of State Commendation in 2016 for her cultural and artistic contributions.  Rachel sat down with Yvonne at the Institute for Advanced Study in Nantes, where they are both Fellows, to discuss literary journeys, the “development industry,” Kenyan politics, and a global, historical, and encompassing view on transregional exchange. Our featured segment with Yvonne begins at 11:22.

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