Nigeria . . . witnessed a healthy literary revolution spearheaded by the Post Express Literary Supplement (PELS), a weekly pull out of the national daily, The Post Express. . . [T]his four-page literary phenomenon is edited by a writer, Nduka Otiono, a member of the increasingly visible third generation of Nigerian writers.
One only has to peruse the pages of PELS and the other newspaper literary pages over a certain period of time to determine which books the country’s literati are reading.
Part of the revolution of PELS then is an unprecedented exploration of contemporary writing from Francophone Africa in order to appraise the Nigerian public with literary mutations from that part of the continent and also to reduce the gulf between the Nigerian literati and their Francophone counterparts. Readers of PELS are regularly treated to penetrating reviews of the latest novels of writers like Pius Ngandu Nkashama, Calixthe Beyala, Sembene Ousmane, Cheik Hamidou Kane, Ahmadou Kourouma and Werewere Liking. What is more, these reviews are often complemented with translations of the interviews of these writers.
It is worth noting that the entire Nigerian literary community would have been excised from the seismic debates occasioned by Beyala’s alleged plagiarism of Ben Okri’s The Famished Road in her award winning Les honneurs perdus but for the intervention of PELS. This publication followed the unfolding events very closely and members of the Nigerian literary community were thus able to participate in a debate which opened up diverse perspectives on the very notion of plagiarism.