Nairobi | March 2007

The first ever Sunday Salon Nairobi will be held on March 18th, at 7pm at Kengeles, Lavington Green!!

Our sister series will be held every third Sunday of the month, making Nairobi the third city to take on the series after New York and Chicago. Sunday Salon founder and co-host, Nita Noveno, is an alumnus of the Summer Literary Seminars (SLS-Kenya Program) held in conjunction with kwani? Litfest in Nairobi and Lamu in December 2006.

This inaugural Sunday Salon will feature Dayo Forster, Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor, Muthoni Garland and Stanley Gazemba. On the same evening, Sunday Salon New York will host, among others, Jeffrey Renard Allen, kwani? Litfest faculty member.

Dayo Forster was born in Gambia and now lives in Kenya. She has published a short story in Kwani? and was one of 12 African writers selected as a participant at the 2006 Caine Prize Writer’s Workshop. The story produced as a result of the workshop was published in a Caine Prize anthology in July 2006. Her short story in Kwani? led her to write her first novel, which will be published early this year.

Muthoni Garland is a businesswoman who is working on her ‘third’ first novel. Her short stories for children and adults have been published in Kwani? and several international literary journals. Her childhood years were spent in Dundori, and she has been educated in Nanyuki, Nakuru, Nairobi , Thika and Ohio . She is married to Wallace and they have four children. Because her husband was recently posted to Nigeria, Muthoni spends half her time in Lagos .

Stanley Gazemba was born in Vihiga, Western Kenya , in 1974 and studied at the Kakamega High School . After school he worked as a tea-picker, a clerk in a steel factory in Mombasa , and a gardener in Nairobi . His first novel, The Stone Hills of Maragoli, won the Jomo Kenyatta Literary Prize in 2003, one of Kenya ’s most prestigious literary awards. The African Review of Books described his book as “an ordinary tale of love, celebration, betrayal and revenge… all in a context that is at once familiar for its emotional impact and unfamiliar for its cultural environment”. Stanley lives in Nairobi and is currently working on several different literary projects.

Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor is the recipient of the 2003 Caine Prize for African Writing, which was awarded for her short story, “Weight of Whispers”, described by the BBC as a “subtle and suggestive work of fiction that dramatises the condition of refugees”. In the recent past she has worked as a screen writer and was the Executive Director of the Zanzibar International Film Festival from 2003 to 2005. Yvonne is currently in the process of finishing her first novel. Photo © Tom Langdon.

Once again, Kwani Trust will facilitate an exciting, innovative event for writers and lovers of literature. Sunday Salon Nairobi will cater to prose, allowing four writers to read their work in a garden setting enhanced by live music. This is reminiscent of the kwani? Readings, which grew in popularity to give way for the ever-popular kwani? Poetry Open Mic, held every first Tuesday of the month at Club Soundd.

kwani? (Kiswahili interrogative loosely translated as “what for” or “why”) is a journal created by some of Kenya’s most exciting new writers. Its founding editor is Binyavanga Wainaina, and it is funded by the Ford Foundation. Check out: www.kwani.org

The Summer Literary Seminars, an outstanding program for writers, take place in Russia and Kenya. Its CEO and Director is Mikhail Iossel. Go to: www.sumlitsem.org.

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