The Mantle publishes emerging critics, writers, and intellectuals in the areas of Arts & Culture, International Affairs, Philosophy, and World Literature. We pay close attention to voices with limited exposure in their home countries and the English language, as well as individuals experiencing censorship. Our imprint features critical and literary talent in print and ebook forms.
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Forbidden Fruit (Kenya) by Stanley Gazemba. A delicious tale of greed, lust, and betrayal, Stanley Gazemba’s Forbidden Fruit is more than a dramatic tale of rural life in western Kenya. The moral slips and desperate cover-ups—sometimes sad, sometimes farcical—are the stories of time and place beyond the village of Maragoli. Gazemba's novel, previously published in Kenya as The Stone Hills of Maragoli (Kwani? 2010), won the prestigious Jomo Kenyatta Prize for Literature.
The Sound of Things to Come (Nigeria) by Emmanuel Iduma. This breakthrough novel illuminates the complex interconnectedness of several lives in modern day Nigeria. Loosely centered on the activities of a church, it becomes apparent there are several centers of the universe. Told from various points of view, the unconventional form breaks free from the strictures of linear narratives we've come to expect from the contemporary novel. For the rising generation of Nigerian writers, Iduma's work truly is the sound of things to come.
We Are All Blue (Botswana): Two plays – Motswana: Africa, Dream Again and Blue, Black and White – by award-winning actor and playwright Donald Molosi, including a foreword by Quett Masire, former president of Botswana.
Blue, Black and White (2011), the longest running one-man show in Botswana’s history, was the first-ever Botswana play staged off-Broadway in New York City, where Molosi won a best actor award. BBW is about the country’s first democratically-elected president, Sir Seretse Khama, and his interracial, transformative marriage. Winner of several awards, the play has been performed around the world.
Motswana: Africa, Dream Again is the story of Botswana and its people as they transition from a British colony to an independent state. The play premiered off-Broadway in 2012 where it won an award at the United Solo Festival, the world’s largest solo theatre festival. Written, directed, and performed by Molosi, the play has been performed across the U.S. and is on tour in Botswana and South Africa.
Those familiar with The Treatise of the Three Impostors recognize it as an Enlightenment-era indictment against the foundations of three major religions – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. That’s only half the story. Published anonymously and attributed to numerous dates, places of origin, and authors – some real, some fantastic – Three Impostors is better understood as a performative act of radical critique and protest against religious authorities. Learn more.
Gambit: Newer African Writing is a unique collection of nine interviews and original short stories by emerging writers from across Africa. The stories in this anthology reflect the nuances that arise from living in a post-postcolonial Africa, where stereotypes are crumbling and writers are willing to tackle themes that are more social than political. Unlike other anthologies of African writing, Gambit's contributors are mostly based in their home countries, putting them closer to the themes they lyrically confront. The interviews provide insight into the writers' inspirations, fears, hopes, and craft. The short stories reveal a range of experiences that are alive with grace, resilience, and humor. Gambit is one way to rediscover today's writing from the African continent. Learn more.