What the 2016 Writivists Read and Love

By Sydney Mugerwa

I always wanted to get into the mind of a writer. What soup do they stir in the kettle of their mind? From where do they purchase the condiments, those sweet smelling words, that aroma they infuse in their works. What words, what authors, do they look upon and say, that one right there inspired my craft and I am forever grateful for their contribution to my story.

And as it’s universally understood that before one can be a writer, convention states they must be readers, I set about to discover the 2016 Writivism shortlisted writers’ reading preference. I have to admit, having them tell me their 5 best books off head was an ambush in every sense of the word.


Gloria took more than an hour to zero down to those 5 as Aito and Bledou balked at the challenge. Impressive as decisive were Abu and Acan who scribbled down those works that have impressed them. I am aware that these lists are ever changing, my intention wasn’t to box our writers in, but rather to get a glimpse into the cavern of their brains.

How do they water and cultivate their muse? In which universe do their hearts reside? How do they differ from myself and what can I learn from them. I am sorry the list is imcomplete. I am hopeful Aito and Bledou will write them their own but in the meantime, have a look through these…

Gloria Mwaniga

Bless me Ultima by Rodolfo Anaya

Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Moving House by Paweł Huelle

The Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The River and the Source by Margaret Atieno Ogola

*And many many short stories from across the globe

Abu Amira

Dust by Yvonne Adhiambo

Sula by Toni Morrison

Circles of the Deceit by Nina Bawden

Blossoms of the Savannah by Henry Ole Kulet

Blackass by Igoni Barret

Acan Immaculate

Tropical Fish by Doreen Baingana

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The Thing Around your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien

Kintu by Jennifer Makumbi

Read more commentary, interviews, reviews etc by Sydney here.