Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Some Reflections about Barbarism in Africa: An Interview with Jack Mapanje

Isabel Alonso Breto


Jack Mapanje was born of Yao and Nyanja parents in Kadango Village, Mangochi District, in southern Malawi. He holds a B.A. Degree and a diploma in Education from the University of Malawi and an M.Phil degree from the University of London. In 1975 he joined the staff of the Department of English at Chancellor College, University of Malawi. In the early 1980s, he worked at University College, London, where he obtained his PhD. In 1981 he published Of Chameleons and Gods, his first collection of poems. Back in Malawi, in 1987 Mapanje was detained and imprisoned following the banning of his book, being released only in 1991 following intense international pressure. His second volume of poetry, The Chattering Wagtails of Mikuyu Prison, written in prison, was published in 1993. He is currently based in England, where he lives with his wife and three children. An academic at the University of Leeds, he recently edited the anthology Gathering Seaweed: African Prison Writing (2002).

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