Tuesday, June 19, 2007

How to Write About Africa

From Granta, a wickedly sarcastic guide to writing about Africa:

Never have a picture of a well-adjusted African on the cover of your book, or in it, unless that African has won the Nobel Prize. An AK-47, prominent ribs, naked breasts: use these. If you must include an African, make sure you get one in Masai or Zulu or Dogon dress.

In your text, treat Africa as if it were one country. It is hot and dusty with rolling grasslands and huge herds of animals and tall, thin people who are starving. Or it is hot and steamy with very short people who eat primates. Don't get bogged down with precise descriptions.

Thanks, Shelby.

And speaking of writing about Africa, here's another expat Liberia blog by Eve, who's with ARC for the summer.

And unrelated to anything, here's a funny map of the countries that have not yet adopted the metric system. (I doubt that Ma Ellen will choose to tackle that issue in her first term.)


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