Writing the Generational Subject is a series on how to refuse and rewind history. The conversations will question what are the mechanisms and techniques in which we can write against and speak to historical erasures and ruptures. Through questioning the foundations and mechanics of writing, the series investigates how it can be used to exert pressure on what has passed and how we connect to those that came before, to recast and enable a more emancipatory future to take shape.
The first conversation with Ayesha Attah will touch on her recent book, A Hundred Wells of Salaga (Cassava Republic Press, 2018), and her forthcoming sequel, The Deep Blue Between (Pushkin, 2020), on the use of the historical fiction genre as an object to disrupt and complicate dominant colonial narratives. The talk will consider how writing can be mobilised to think through important and intricate distinctions of religion, language and status, and what sort of politics this enables in the contemporary moment.
Ayesha Harruna Attah is the author of four novels: Harmattan Rain (Per Ankh Publishers), nominated for the 2010 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize; Saturday's Shadows (World Editions), shortlisted for the Kwani Manuscript Project in 2013; The Hundred Wells of Salaga (Cassava Republic Press, UK; Other Press, US); and a forthcoming young adult novel, The Deep Blue Between (Pushkin Children's). Educated at Mount Holyoke College, Columbia University, and NYU, Ayesha has degrees in Biochemistry, Journalism, and Creative Writing. A 2015 Africa Centre Artists in Residency Award Laureate and Sacatar Fellow, she is the recipient of the 2016 Miles Morland Foundation Scholarship for non-fiction. She currently lives in Senegal and loves cooking, green tea ice cream, and staring at the ocean.