cover image No Edges: Swahili Stories

No Edges: Swahili Stories

Fatma Shafi et al., trans. from the Swahili by Hassan Kassim et al. Two Lines, $16.95 trade paper (144p) ISBN 978-1-949641-45-5

This visionary anthology of stories by eight East African writers explores magic realms of dreams and witchcraft along with more quotidian scenes. Shafi’s “The Guest” centers on a young woman who lives with her family in a small village, where her excitement over her lover’s imminent visit is dashed after things don’t go the way she expected. “A Neighbor’s Pot” by Lusajo Mwaikendi Israel chronicles the abduction of a 14-year-old girl by wood sprites, who take her to a village where witches get around on carts pulled by stinking hyenas, throw “crazy parties,” and binge on human flesh. In “Attitudes” by Fadhy Mtanga, a young woman boards a bus in Ipogolo, Tanzania. After catching the eye of a male passenger, she struggles to control her worsening flatulence. The highlight is an excerpt from Katama G.C. Mkangi’s Afrofuturist novel Walenisi, in which a condemned man is launched into space (the book’s title derives from Mkangi’s lovely depiction of outer space as a “universe with no edges”). These varied and wondrous tales are a literary feast. (Apr.)