Join us for African Book Club, an ongoing series at MoAD, facilitated by co-Founder Faith Adiele. August's selection is Call and Response: Stories by Gothataone Moeng, a collection of richly drawn stories about the lives of ordinary families in contemporary Botswana as they navigate relationships, tradition and caretaking in a rapidly changing world.
How to participate: Get a copy of the book (you can see all the titles we’ve previously discussed on the MoAD Bookshop), read as much as you can (warning: we will discuss the end), and then join us online to discuss. The program will feature a live conversation between author Gothataone Moeng and host Faith Adiele.
About the Book
A young widow adheres to the expectations of wearing mourning clothes for nearly a year, though she’s unsure what the traditions mean or whether she is ready to meet the world without their protection. An older sister returns home from a confusing time in America, only to explain at every turn why she’s left the land of opportunity. A younger sister hides her sexual exploits from her family, while her older brother openly flaunts his infidelity.
The stories collected in Call and Response are strongly anchored in place – in the village of Serowe, where the author is from, and in Gaborone, the capital city of Botswana – charting the emotional journeys of women seeking love and opportunity beyond the barriers of custom and circumstance.
Gothataone Moeng is part of a new generation of writers coming out of Africa whose voices are ready to explode onto the literary scene. In the tradition of writers like Chimamanda Adiche and Jhumpa Lahiri, she offers us insight into communities, experiences and landscapes through stories that are cinematic in their sweep, with unforgettable female protagonists.
About the Author
Gothataone Moeng is a 2023-2024 Carol Houck Smith Fiction Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a 2022-2023 Fiction Fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and a 2018-2020 Stegner Fellow in Fiction at Stanford University. Her writing has also received fellowships and support from Tin House, where she was a 2019 Summer Workshop scholar and from A Public Space, where she was a 2016 Emerging Writer Fellow. Her writing has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Ploughshares, Virginia Quarterly Review, American Short Fiction, One Story, A Public Space and Oxford American, amongst others. She holds an MFA Creative Writing (Fiction) from the University of Mississippi. She was born in Serowe, Botswana.
About the Host
Faith Adiele co-founded and hosts MoAD’s African Book Club, and her monthly column for Detour: Best Stories in Black Travel is syndicated in The Miami Herald. An award-winning memoirist, she contributes to the CALM app, HBO-Max, Alta Magazine, Hyperallergic and others, and her recent work has received Emmy and SoCal Journalism Award nominations. Faith graduated from Harvard College and the University of Iowa’s Writing Workshop and Nonfiction Writing programs. She has a set of hybrid chapbooks about her Nigerian-Nordic-American family forthcoming from Texas Review Press and a travel writing craft guide from Columbia Univ Press. She lives in Oakland and chairs the Writing & Literature program at California College for the Arts.