I am one of the people who shouts the most about the heavy burden African writers have had to carry. They are only expected to put pen to paper if the result is literary, political and serious. So African Sue Townsends had to move on and become accountants or garbage collectors. African Barbara Cartlands became doctors or house maids. Popular fiction just wasn't for Africa- they said. Writers here needed to address African conditions and to the international world Africans don't laugh. Africans do not dream of Prince Charmings or futuristic worlds where robots run things. Like so many times before, the people outside put up the kraal and Africans stepped (or were forced) inside. Luckily, new African writers are saying no. Now we have all types of writers, all types of books. Romance, chick-lit, gay fiction, children's books, science fiction. ... everything and anything, confined only by the parameters of their minds.
One of these writers is Ivor Hartmann. I just finished reading his award winning story Mr Goop at African Writing. What fun! Science fiction set in Zimbabwe, post the Big Flood brought to us by Global Warming. It is a Zimbabwe where each child has his very own Geneform but Tamuka unfortunately is stuck with the slightly less than perfect Mr Goop. It is an imaginative and moving story.