Mukana Press considered over 500 short story entries and selected 12 to include in this 2022 anthology. They represent many African countries and tell compelling stories, some very dramatic and others slice-of-life. As might be expected, in their various formats they illuminate the intersection between traditional and modern viewpoints, social expectations and gender roles.
I enjoyed the variety of formats -- email messages, Facebook posts, various point-of-view narrators. And I especially enjoyed the title story - “The Newlyweds’ Window” by Husnah Mad-hy for its demonstration of questionable assumptions when a neighbor who finds no shame in watching the newlyweds comments that they are witnessing the “expectations of Swahili women- cooking, cleaning, raising, tending to her husband, attending weddings and funerals, and the likes."
Not all of the stories are typical dramas -- some are fantasy, crime-related, horror, science fiction, an impressive mix of genres. Some will appeal to particular readers, while other readers will find other stories more to their liking.
Mukana means “opportunity” in Shona; the twelve emerging authors -- whose bios are included -- are here given a great opportunity to reach a wide audience. I thank Mukana Press for the opportunity to read these works when I was given an advance copy through NetGalley.