Margaret Busby

Margaret Busby has today been revealed to be the headliner for Berlin’s African Book Festival 2022. The festival runs from August 26-28, 2022.

The African Book Festival featuring some of the leading writers in Africa and its diaspora has been hosted in Berlin, Germany since 2018. It has established itself as a leading meeting place for writers and poets in the European country with headliners like José Eduardo Agualusa, Ben Okri, and Chris Abani.

The African Book Festival is set to bring together the stars of contemporary African literature in the German capital for another run in August. The programme will include readings, concerts, panel discussions, poetry and comedy. In December, the festival organisers announced the curator for 2022 to be Johannesburg-based writer, filmmaker and photographer Lidudumalingani. 

Today, they have revealed the festival headliner: Margaret Busby. Busby was born in Ghana and educated in the UK. She became Britain’s youngest and first black woman publisher when she co-founded Allison & Busby in the 1960s. As a writer, editor, broadcaster and literary critic, she has judged numerous literary awards, including the Booker Prize, received many honours and served on several boards, among them the Royal Literary Fund, Wasafiri and the Africa Centre in London.

Titled “Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow,” this year’s festival will explore the connections between writers that endure from generation to generation. Celebrating this heritage has been central in Busby’s work as an editor: she compiled and edited the anthologies Daughters of Africa (1992, Jonathan Cape) and New Daughters of Africa (2019, Myriad Editions). These ground-breaking anthologies bring together the work of more than 200 women writers of African descent from the 18th century on to the present day and span a range of genres – essays, memoirs, short prose, drama, poetry amongst others – portraying the diversity, richness and magnitude of African women writers around the globe.