Kenyan writer Binyavanga Wainaina (1971–2019) was among the greatest of his generation. A winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing, in the final decade of his life he had become as well a celebrated speaker, and was even named by TIME to its list of “Most Influential People in the World.” He was also an out gay man and a tireless advocate for the rights of sexual minorities.

His first ever piece of fiction, “Binguni!”, was thought to be lost. Recently rediscovered, the story was featured in our Winter 2021 book Ancestors, and we are thrilled that it is now online for all to read, twenty-five years after it was originally published.

To celebrate, Boston Review hosted a short conversation on Wainaina’s fiction in Spring 2021. In partnership with the Against Nature Journal, the event featured an international panel of distinguished writers who talked about the rediscovery of “Binguni!” and Wainaina’s continued importance to the African literary landscape.

Purchase your copy of Ancestors here, or make a small donation so Boston Review can keep producing events like this.


Panelists (in their grid order from top left):

  • Giulia Tognon, Contributing Editor, The Against Nature Journal
  • Adam McGee, Arts Editor and Managing Editor, Boston Review
  • Sigrid Rausing is Editor and Publisher of Granta magazine and Publisher of Granta Books. She is the author of History, Memory and Identity in Post-Soviet Estonia and the memoirs Everything Is Wonderful and Mayhem.
  • Ed Pavlić, Contributing Arts Editor, Boston Review
  • Achal Prabhala is a writer from Bangalore, India
  • Neo Sinoxolo Musangi is an independent queer feminist whose work-life is in art, academia and creative writing. They are currently working on a monograph tentatively titled Public Sex: Failure and post|colonial mediocrity in the biographical archive.
  • Aruni Kashyap is a writer and translator from Assam. He is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Georgia.
  • Oris Aigbokhaevbolo won the 2015 All Africa Music Award for Journalism. He has contributed to a range of publications, including the London Review of BooksCatapult, the New York Review of BooksChimurenga, the Africa Report, and the Guardian.
  • Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor is an award-winning writer from Nairobi, Kenya. She is the author of the novels Dust and The Dragonfly Sea.