A. Igoni Barrett is the author of Love Is Power, Or Something Like That: Stories.
The reign of the child soldier in African literature is over.
Now, in the aftermath of its decline, the props of the regime — as with the downfall of your common blood-and-flesh despot — are being dismantled. The discerning reader has long grown weary of dead and dying stereotypes of the modern African novel: Civil wars. Black magic. Vulture-stalked refugees. In life as in literature, the stranglehold of these banal memes on African narratives is broken.
For decades, the Austin Lounge Lizards have been trying to keep their Texas hometown weird. Armed with an alt-country sound and precise harmonies, the members have been spoofing politics, religion and romance for as long as most Austinites can remember. Now, they're releasing their first studio album in seven years, Home and Deranged. Founding members Hank Card and Conrad Deisler spoke with NPR's Rachel Martin; click the audio link on this page to hear their conversation.
The Mexican army's May 5 victory in 1862's Battle of Puebla is a pretty small holiday in Mexico. But in the U.S., Cinco de Mayo has grown into a kind of Mexican St. Patrick's Day. So this weekend, in honor of that holiday, thousands of Americans will be dipping tortilla chips into guacamole, and when they do they'll have an important decision to make: how best to dip without breaking the chip.