GSMC lecturer on book tour in the Americas
GSMC founding faculty member, Dr Peter Kimani, has been on a reading tour in the United States and the Caribbean to promote his new novel, Dance of the Jakaranda, travelling through nearly 10 different time zones in three weeks.
Setting off in Massachusetts, he gave a reading at Amherst College before proceeding to California for the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, reputed as the largest public book event in the United States. It attracts some 150,000 people over two days.
He featured in a panel discussion, Fiction: Culture and Identity alongside American author Charmaine Craig and American-South Korean writer, Krys Lee.
From there, he flew out to the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he gave a lecture, From Heart of Darkness, to Light and Dance, situating the making of Dance of the Jakaranda and the politics of literature in colonial Africa.
From Wisconsin, he flew to Trinidad and Tobago for Bocas Lit Festival—the largest literary event in the Caribbean, for a discussion on Press freedom in East Africa. He also appeared in a conversation with his publisher, Johnny Temple, reflecting on his fiction and journalism.
Dr Kimani concluded his tour at the PEN World Voices Festival in New York, joining Egyptian author Mona Eltahawy and Ethiopian-American author, Maaza Mengiste to discuss, Identity in the Age of Globalisation: An African Diasporic Perspective.
From these sojourns, his work was covered in the Los Angeles Times, The Guardian of Trinidad and PEN World newsmagazine. He also discussed his book on BBC World Service flagship programme for the continent, Focus on Africa.
In mid-June, Dr Kimani’s novel will be launched and discussed in a roundtable at Yale University during the forthcoming African Literature Association conference hosted at the institution.
In the same week, he will appear as guest author at Printers Row Book Festival organized by the Chicago Tribune – the second largest media group in the US. He will be joined by the Chicago Tribune’s editorial board member Lili Wright in a discussion, Fiction: From the Edge of the World.
This month, London-based Saqi Books secured rights to release Dance of the Jakaranda for the British market and the Commonwealth. Reporting the deal, Saqi’s Elizabeth Briggs told the trade journal, The Bookseller: “Dance of the Jakaranda is one of the most extraordinary accomplishments I have read in a very long time. It pulses with life from its compelling beginning to powerful close.”