Bios for the authors and researchers participating on African Crime: Fiction and Facts, 21 May 2015.

Helon Habila

Helon Habila is author and co-owner of Cordite Books: Pan-African crime and spy fiction, together with Parrésia Publisher Ltd. He was born in Nigeria but is currently Associate Professor of Creative Writing at George Mason University, Virginia USA. He was Arts Editor of Nigeria’s Vanguard Newspaper when his short story “Love Poems” won the 2001 Caine Prize, garnering him international attention as one of the most exciting new voices in contemporary fiction.  Habila was invited as the first African Writing Fellow at the University of East Anglia the same year. His first novel Waiting for an Angel (2002), was awarded the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Novel (Africa Region). His second novel Measuring Time (2007) won the Library of Virginia Literary Award for Fiction 2008. His third novel, Oil on Water, which deals with environmental pollution in the oil rich Niger Delta, was published in 2010 and was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize (2011) and the Orion Book Award (2012). It was also a runner up for the PEN Open Book Award (2012).

2015 he was awarded the prestigious Windham Campbell Prize in the category fiction.

Cordite Books: Pan-African crime and spy fiction
Cordite was set up to satisfy the African market for genre writing with books of the highest quality from Africa’s most talented young authors. In 2014, it initiated a Crime competition where the first prize is a publishing deal with Cordite books as well as a royalty advance.

Lauri Kubuitsile

Lauri Kubuitsile is a full-time, award-winning writer living in Botswana. A prolific writer, she writes for both kids, teens and adults and across various genres. She has won the Pan-African prize for children's writing, The Golden Baobab, twice. She won the Bessie Head Literature Award for short story, the 2007 Anglo Platinum Short Story Contest, and the Botswana's Department of Arts and Culture, 2007 Botswerere Award for Creative Writing. She was shortlisted for the 2011 Caine Prize. Several of her titles are prescribed books for schools in both Botswana and South Africa. Lauri also works with different format to reach out to her audience. Lola Molefi Mysteries for example are distributed directly to cellphones.

The Detective Kate Gomolemo series:

  • The Fatal Payout, 2005
  • Murder for Profit, 2008
  • Anything for Money, 2011,
  • Claws of a Killer, 2012

The Lola Molefi Mysteries

  • The Secret Life of Mr Wang
  • The Mystery of the Disappearing Dogs
  • The Case of the Wedding Curse
  • The Case of the False Prophets (to appear in April)

Official blog

Margie Orford

Margie Orford is a journalist, film director and author of an internationally published literary crime fiction series that explores violence and its effects in South Africa. She is published in the USA and the UK and has been translated into more than ten languages.  She was born in London and grew up in Namibia and South Africa, studying at University of Cape Town (UCT) where she wrote her final exams in prison while detained during the State of Emergency. In 1999, she was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and while in New York, worked on an archival retrieval project, Women Writing in Africa: The Southern Volume.

She is the president of PEN South African, a member of the executive board of PEN International, the patron of Rape Crisis and of the children’s book charity, the Little Hands Trust. She lives in Cape Town.

The Clare Hart series

  • Like Clockwork, 2006
  • Blood Rose, 2007
  • Daddy's Girl, 2009
  • Gallows Hill, 2011
  • Water Music, 2013

Official website and Twitter

Wanjiku wa Ngugi

Wanjiku wa Ngugi is a writer and political analyst. Born and raised in Kenya, she now lives in Finland where she is director of the Helsinki African Film Festival (HAFF) in Finland.  She is also a member of the editorial board of Matatu: Journal for African Literature and Culture and Society, and has been a columnist for the Finnish development magazine Maailman Kuvalehti. Her essays and short stories have been published in The Herald (Zimbabwe), The Daily Nation & Business Daily, Pambazuka News, and Chimurenga, among others.

  • The Fall of Saints, 2014

Publisher's author website

Ashleigh Harris

Ashleigh Harris is presently Senior lecturer at Department of English, Uppsala University. She has a PhD from University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa where she also worked as Senior lecturer. Her research interests include Postcolonial literature; African literature; trans-national approaches to literary studies; African-American literature; writing and theories of trauma; feminist writing and theory; creative writing; psychoanalytic approaches to literature; literature and ethics.

Maria Baas Eriksson

Maria Baas Eriksson is Senior Researcher & Associate Professor at NAI.
Subject areas: Civil-military relations, defence reform; gender and security; post-colonial theory and diaspora studies
Geographical areas: the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda

Anders Sjögren

Anders Sjögren is Senior Researcher and Acting Cluster Leader for Conflict Cluster at NAI
Subject areas: Comparative political economy. Land. Citizenship. State-society relations.
Geographical areas: Kenya, Uganda

Iina Soiri

Iina Soiri is Director at Nordic Africa Institute

Prior to her appointment 2013, she worked in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Finland as a senior advisor on development policy and served in the Embassy of Finland in Dar es Salaam as senior expert on governance 2006-2010.

Subject areas: Development policy and finance, good governance and local government, elections, community development, development evaluations and appraisals, Southern African liberation and anti-apartheid movement.

Published: 2015-03-25

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