Best of Isele Anthology

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Pub Date 30 Nov 2022 | Archive Date 28 Feb 2023

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Description

From short stories about the dark and the light, and how we loved then and now, to poems en route the world gathering notes of those in search of beginnings and those at their ends, and essays exploring the lost and the found, grief, being— the works in this anthology are unexpected and defiant of conventions. In myriad genres and styles and with the mere power and beauty of their words, the writers in this collection hold a prism to humanity, opening minds to new ways of seeing, of knowing.

A collection from the African literary magazine Isele, the anthology includes works from Rilla Askew, Romeo Oriogun, Nora Nneka, Gabriela Denise Frank, Sylvia K. Ilahuka, Innocent Chizaram Ilo, Muyera Sokoo, Itiola Jones, and others.

From short stories about the dark and the light, and how we loved then and now, to poems en route the world gathering notes of those in search of beginnings and those at their ends, and essays...


Advance Praise

"Isele Magazine is a vital new voice for African writing. The stories, poems, essays, and interviews are lively, fresh, exciting, surprising, and well-curated and beautifully presented."

—Rob Spillman, editor, Tin House Magazine


"An extraordinarily rich collection of works across genres, this carefully curated anthology contains some of the most gripping writing I've read in a long time. Truly a work of beauty."

—Chika Unigwe, author of the award-winning On Black Sisters’ Street

"Isele Magazine is a vital new voice for African writing. The stories, poems, essays, and interviews are lively, fresh, exciting, surprising, and well-curated and beautifully presented."

—Rob...


Available Editions

EDITION Paperback
ISBN 9781957810065
PRICE $24.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 2 members


Featured Reviews

Best of Isele Anthology is a breathtaking collection of poems, essays, and short stories from many creators. A very beautiful collection of African writers and a must for every library.

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I'd never heard of Isele magazine before coming across this anthology on NetGalley but will absolutely be following what they do now I've had a flavour of the work they promote.

The Best of Isele Anthology is a celebration of the publication, which publishes work primarily from writers on the African continent but also from around the world. The collection showcases the longlisted authors for the Isele prize and is split into Fiction, Non-Fiction and Poetry with the winning story from each of these categories opening each section. There is also a category at the end for short stories that were chosen as notable mentions.

This is the kind of anthology you can read cover to cover in a couple of sittings, so well do the pieces flow into one another, each long enough to be satisfactory in their own right but short enough to leave you wanting more. Equally, you could savour the book over a couple of weeks letting each story, poem or essay marinate before moving on to the next. Either way, you're likely to discover something to make you think, gasp or simply revel in enjoyment.

What I liked most about this anthology was that it did not solely focus on tales of black trauma, there were stories that had elements of the supernatural, romance, queer stories, essays about the black experience in academia and poems about just existing in the world in a black body. As much as it is important to tell stories of black pain, it is equally important to highlight black joy, love, ingenuity and creativity and Isele does this to great effect. Some of my favourite pieces were The Year of the Sun, Witch Hazel and The Children of No. 39 Faulks Street.

As with any anthology, there were pieces I liked more than others, I also think the notable mentions should have been dispersed throughout the book. By putting the notable mentions together at the end, the collection seemed to fizzle out after I had already read the, generally stronger, longlisted pieces. There was no one piece that I didn't gain something from, however, and I am grateful to NetGalley and Iskanshi Press for the opportunity to be an early reader of this thoroughly enjoyable work.

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