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12 April 2008

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Tim

I also liked Alexis's brief contemplation of the difference between her work as a novelist and a political activist.

Her fiction, she said, allows her (and her readers) to "imagine how things can be different."

This struck home, given the sometimes seemingly intractable land rights and racial issues in Australia today. The conversations I had and newspaper reports I read while there this year left me feeling the problem was almost beyond a solution.

But then again, I trust in human ingenuity, and imagining how things can be different seems a great start. Who says literature has no value and potential beyond itself?

I also enjoyed Ngugi's wry query when talking about land {my paraphrasing}... 'real democracy in Africa means being able to sell your own resources in the market at the market price - given the global appetite for resources, does the west really want democracies in Africa right now?'

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