Christopher Conte is a writer and editor based in Washington, DC. In 2008, he began working in Uganda as a journalist for a Kampala-based newspaper, a stint that lasted two years. His interactions with certain people gave him the idea of publishing a book filled with factual stories about the everyday lives of Ugandan women, to give insights into life in Uganda. This he explains succinctly in his introduction: ‘We hoped that stories by “ordinary” people, told in the straight-forward manner of journalism, would offer readers more authentic glimpses into one small corner of a huge and diverse continent that is neither as pitiful nor as romantic as the stereotypes suggest’.
The resulting book, Crossroads: Women Coming of Age in Today’s Uganda, thus joins a list of similar non-fiction anthologies from the continent: No More Strangers Now: Young Voices from a New South Africa edited by Tim McKee, which deals with growing up in apartheid South Africa; Our Stories, Our Songs: African Children Talk about AIDS edited by Deborah Ellis; The Unsung Heroines edited by Magdaline K Ngaiza and Bertha Koda, which is a collection of stories from the lives of seven ordinary Tanzanian women.