Collection celebrates South Sudanese women writers

Friday July 09 2021
No Time to Mourn

"No Time to Mourn" is a collection of short stories, poems, artwork and photography pieces and one song. PICTURE | COURTESY


No Time to Mourn captures the lives and stories of South Sudanese female writers and artists in a collection of 18 short stories, 48 poems, 21 artwork and photography pieces and one song.

The anthology gives voice to the experiences of South Sudanese women who have endured wars and crossed regional and international borders under some of the harshest conditions. It pays homage to their South Sudanese heritage.

Edited by Hilda Twongyeirwe and Elizabeth Ashamu Deng, the 268-page book published by Femrite Publications in 2020, has seven themes capturing the effects of war.

They include homelessness and family separations, the treatment of refugees, emotional and physical fear and tension, disease, starvation, death and destruction, hunger and thirst, war and the gloom that has befallen the land.

The title of the book is derived from Bigoa Chuol’s poem Birth water, which is about the children born to traumatised women.

Intimate conversations 


In her review of No Time to Mourn the Ugandan author of A Girl is a Body of Water Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi writes: “These memories of home, these intimate conversations with sisters from South Sudan, are at once familiar and strange: The stories are raw and heart-breaking, the poetry is earnest and honest, the photography surprising and the art stunning.”

South Sudanese author of Another Nigger Dead Taban lo Liyong writes: “The truths, the facts and the fiction, in No Time to Mourn, are so skilfully woven that they bring tears to our eyes.”

No Time to Mourn was among those honoured by Oxfam America in March 2021(Women’s History Month).