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How to Write About Africa: Collected Works’ Shows Binyavanga Wainaina’s Legacy                               

An outspoken and prominent figure in the literary landscape, Binyavanga Wainaina, played a pivotal role in redefining the world of African literature. Rising to prominence with his winning of the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2002, he used his prize money to found a new literary journal to promote the work of African writers. His scathing critique, ‘How to Write About Africa,’ published in 2005, shined a light on the inaccuracies and ridiculousness of outsiders’ writings about the continent. African literature would never be the same. Wainaina, who died in 2019 at age 48, became an outsize figure on the literary landscape, his omnivorous brilliance matched by ambition and vision on a continental scale. His body of work was influential but slim, overshadowed perhaps by his role as provocateur: In life, he published only one book, a memoir, “One Day I Will Write About This Place,” which was well received when it came out in 2011.