Uzoamaka Maduka: The Nigerian Founder Of The American Reader, Championing Our Generation’s Dream


Every generation has the responsibility to create for itself what it is they want” – Uzoamaka Maduka


Uzoamaka Maduka will definitely define this generation, I dare to say that!

She chose not to accept the assumptions about our generation (ages 22-35). She has chosen to change the erroneous thinking that our generation don’t read neither do we write, that our generation don’t argue neither do we debate, further more that our generation don’t even think neither do we analyze. In her words “Because we are on Facebook or Tweeting doesn’t mean we’re not still interested in reading War and Peace— and that we don’t have the need for an edifying conversation about it”.

It was in her determination to correct this notion that lead to the idea of The American Reader – a monthly literary magazine aimed at young people between the ages of 22 and 35. At 25, Uzoamaka Maduka, a graduate of Princeton is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of The American Reader. Even while hanging out with friends, great ideas pop up in our conversation; it was during one of this conservation that the idea for The American Reader popped up. Uzoamaka Maduka and her boyfriend, Jac Mullen, were just having a random conversation about the state of literature when they came up with the idea to set up a magazine to calm and clear the doubts of the older generation. The magazine is to be devoted solely to literature and literary criticism. As time went by they fine tuned this idea, they decided to make it a monthly literary magazine that would “reinvigorate the literary conversation and reintegrate it into the larger cultural conversation.”

With funding from a few investors, Uzomaka was able to assemble a team of creative minds, which includes Ben Marcus, Jeff Dolven, Dean Young, Stephanie LaCava, Alexandra Sage FC Mehta, and Shala Monroque. The team’s goal is to provide a forum for literary-minded post-collegiate dialogue; to get people talking; to make waves in the socio-cultural scene of the younger set. Herself and her team have taken upon themselves a simple task, to make the tree house given this generation and build it out, until it dwarfs the main house.

The plan for the magazine is to drive inspiring literary and critical conversation among a new generation of readers. It would consist of fiction, criticism, and poetry, well-argued reviews of new literature; considered essays on all matters literary; and occasional interviews with writers, publishers, editors, and various industry professionals. Interestingly it was such a great idea, and the zeal and strategy which Uzoamaka wanted to go about it, made finding an investor less difficult.

If the initial intellectual offerings on the website are any sign, Uzoamaka may accomplish her goal. It’s too early to tell what impact The American Reader will make in the literary landscape but in other areas, Uzoamaka has already been featured in Forbes as a young disruptor, innovator and entrepreneur in media. Also on its annual listing of the 30 under 30 and she is regarded as one of the creative and intellectual best of her generation. Over at CreativityTurf, we will definitely be monitoring her progress and the impact The American Reader will make on this generation.


Adeolu Adesanya: I share the opinion of an enterprising mind. I’m Christian. I believe ideas and innovation change the world. I’m a research consultant with P&D Allianz providing market research, competitive intelligence, and management consulting to various start-ups and medium & small businesses in emerging markets.

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