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Pen Malawi to publish books every two years

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By Sam Banda Jnr:

ONE OF THE CONTRIBUTORS—Zulu

Pen Malawi has made a commitment to publish books every two years.

Pen Malawi President, Alfred Msadala, disclosed this yesterday ahead of the launch of their second book The Death of an Idea at Jacaranda Cultural Centre (JCC) in Blantyre on Sunday afternoon.

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“While The Death of an Idea is multilingual, it is like that because of the theme, an intergenerational congregation. The subsequent ones may take another dimension depending on the discretion of the editorial committee,” Msadala.

Msadala said The Death of an Idea, Malawi Writing Today II attests to the rich talent across generations of the country’s writing.

Edited by Egido Mpanga, the book, according to Msadala, who is also a veteran author and poet, is a celebration of intergeneration writing seeking to expose talent and ideas past and present. “The denominator: with this publication of The Death of an Idea, a voice that was crying in the wilderness has abode, will be hard and give birth to countless ideas,” Msadala said.

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He said the first Malawian Writing Today was published in 1999 sponsored by Sida.

“This second one is sponsored by former Norwegian Ambassador to Malawi Asbjorn Eidhammer. The new commitment shall be on intra funds, that is why we can rightly schedule it,” Msadala said.

Eidhammer contributed to the book with the sale proceeds of his book, Malawi—A Place Apart.

He said, in line with one of Pen International’s objectives, which is to promote vernacular languages, Pen Malawi has made strides to come up with The Death of an Idea which also features poetry in Chiyao and Chichewa, among other languages.

The book features works of several writers.

Dave Namusanya, who features in the book, wrote on his Facebook page that a child who washes hands eats with elders.

“On June 30 2019, there is a launch of that dance of elders – some gone, others with us I have danced with the elders. Rubbed shoulders with them. The people I grew up reading now share textbook space with me. They are my neighbours. Their backyard is my front yard,” Namusanya said.

The book features works that cut across generations and some of them include Steve Chimombo, David Rubadiri, Francis Moto, John Lwanda and Jack Mapanje.

Other contributors in the book include Q Malewezi with ‘Black’, Luckier Chikopa with ‘Life of A Woman,’ Amanda Nazombe, Stanley Onjezani Kenani (‘We’ ll Dance on the Beaches of Italy’), Linley Mayenda, who is the youngest contributor, Frank Chipasula, Zondiwe Mbano, Rhoda Zulu, Matilda Phiri, Temwani Mgunda and Ken Lipenga.

Founded in 1921, Pen International is a forum where writers meet freely to discuss their work.

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