Copyright © Ama Ata Aidoo 1965, 1970 and 1985
The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born
by Ayi Kwei Armah
The story centres around “The Man” who lives a very humble life in early postcolonial Ghana. His character is challenged when he is offered a bribe at his workplace and he refuses. The country is still ridden with corrupt leadership and structures despite successfully getting rid of their colonial masters. He is disillusioned with the current state of affairs and tries lives his life detached from it all.
Copyright © 2016 by Imbolo Mbue
Behold the Dreamers
by Imbolo Mbue
Behold The Dreamers is a depiction of the intertwined lives of two families living in New York. The Jonga family are (illegal) immigrants from Cameroon who are trying to live the American Dream. Through a twist of fate, their paths cross dependent on employment by the wealthy Edwards. Clark Edwards works for the Lehman Brothers and the bankruptcy of this company threatens the lives of both families, revealing certain truths that threaten to overturn both worlds.
Copyright © NoViolet Bulawayo 2013
We Need New Names
by NoViolet Bulawayo
This is a coming of age story for 10-year-old Darling who is manoeuvring her way through a life that is rapidly crumbling from under her. She is ‘rescued’ by her aunt who lives in Michigan where she quickly assimilates but is still finding it difficult to completely shed her old skin.
Copyright © Esi Edugyan
by Esi Edugyan
Washington ‘Wash’ Black, a young slave, finds himself living under the same roof as his master’s abolitionist brother, Christopher Wilde. Christopher introduces Wash to a new world of innovation and his obsession with making a ‘flying machine’. This new life is interrupted when a bounty is places on Wash’s head for murder. After choosing to flee with Wash, the duo encounter a number of strange people along the way.
by A. Igoni Barrett
Furo Wariboko, a 33 year old Lagosian graduate, wakes up on the morning of his job interview to discover a physical transformation has taken place – he is now a white man. Barrett uses satire to explore concepts such race in Nigeria and duality.
The Kitchen Dweller's Testimony
by Ladan Osman
The collection is largely influenced by Osman’s Somali and Islamic heritage. Most of the speakers are women of colour observing and expressing their agitations on issues such as race, politics and love. She manages to combine humour with introspection, leaving the reader provoked.
Copyright © 2012 by Editions Julliard, Paris
English translation © 2016 by Emma Ramadan
The Curious Case of Dassoukine’s Trousers
by Fouad Laroui
This collection is filled both with humour and some serious metaphors to life and the stories are told by a group of friends sitting at a Café in Casablanca. The title is a story of a young man who travels to a different country where everyone acts weird, when in fact he is the foreigner or weird one. Most of the stories are a reflection on identity and our perception of the world around us.
by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi
Kintu, governor or Ppookino of Buganda sets out on a journey and unfortunately for him, a lapse in judgement results in him unleashing a curse that will transcend to his descendants. We see the ripple effect of his actions affecting different generations of his clan in their individual stories.
© Tendai Huchu, 2010
The Hairdresser of Harare
by Tendai Huchu
The book’s main character is a young single-mother named Vimbai. One of the best hairdressers in town, things change for her when Dumisani enters the salon looking for work and they develop an interesting relationship. We see the city of Harare through her lens as she navigates life in the city and fights to survive amidst the vast inequality and corruption she is surrounded by.
Copyright © Fiston Mwanza Mujila 2014
by Fiston Mwanza Mujila
The main characters Lucien, a writer, is guided into the city life by his friend Requiem the thief. Mujila utilises their interactions with other character to illustrate the consequences of raw human nature being exposed in the search for progress, power and success.
Copyright © Taiye Selasie, 2013
Ghana Must Go
by Taiye Selasi
Kweku Sai, a renowned surgeon in the United States returns to his homeland Ghana due to a series of unfortunate events, only to meet his sudden death. This event forces his family to come together to deal with many unresolved issues from the past.
Copyright © 2016 Ijeoma Umebinyuo
Questions for Ada
by Ijeoma Umebinyuo
This collection of poems is addressed to ‘Ada’, a representation of womankind. It is a call for women around the world to embrace their flaws and stand up to the patriarchal institutions and norms that have been established and long accepted by society. It addresses serious issues such as marriage, domestic abuse and self-love.
Copyright © 2005 by Doreen Baingana
Tropical fish: Tales from Entebbe
by Doreen Baingana
Tropical Fish is a collection of eight interlinked short stories that follow the journey of three Ugandan sisters: Christine, Rosa and Patti, as they mature into young adults.
by Tsitsi Dangarembga
The novel is set in rural Zimbabwe where Tambu, an intelligent young girl, struggles with the realities of society. It starts off with the death of her brother which we soon find out paves the way to her emancipation and advancement in life. We see the different struggles that the women in her family face and how she manages to overcome some of them.
The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives
by Lola Shoneyin
A young, highly educated lady Bolanle marries into a polygamous family, becoming the fourth wife of Baba Segi. The novel is written such that each of the wives gives their perspectives on the different situations in which they find themselves, illustrating the difficulty in juggling a polygamous household.
Born a Crime
by Trevor Noah
Mixed race Trevor Noah was born during apartheid, when interracial relationships in South Africa are illegal. He was literally born a crime. This book is rich with humour as Trevor narrates stories of his youth including the good, the bad and the ugly of South Africa’s history and culture.
Every day is for the thief
by Teju Cole
A man who has spent a significant amount of time abroad (United States) returns to Nigeria only to find out that it is not at all what he expected. It is full of corruption and economic strife which the narrator struggles to deal with and makes him question whether he is ready to permanently relocate.
by Leila Aboulela
This novel is loosely based off the life of Hassan Awad Aboulela who happens to be the authors uncle. It tells the story of Nur, a talented young poet whose future has been predetermined by his father to take over the family business. Things fall apart when a diving accident leaves him a quadriplegic.
by Chigozie Obioma
The story is about four brothers, Ikenna, Boja, Obembe and Benjamin who decide to secretly go fishing in a river. After a few weeks of successfully hiding their secret hobby, they are found out. On one of their fishing escapades, they encounter a madman who predicts that Ikenna will be killed by one of his brothers.
Copyright © 2012 Ayebia Clarke Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2012 Diplomatic Pounds & Other Stories by Ama Ata Aidoo
Diplomatic Pounds and Other Stories
by Ama Ata Aidoo
A collection of diverse short stories based in various locations, but underpinning the issues West Africans have in common.
The Book of Memory
by Petina Gappah
The Book of Memory is the tale of an albino woman, Mnemosyne aka Memory facing death row in Zimbabwe. Following the advice of her lawyer, Memory vividly recants the events leading up to the murder of a man she is accused of, a white man she was sold to as a child.
Things Fall Apart
by Chinua Achebe
Things Fall Apart follows the tale of Okonkwo; a respected man from the village of Umuofia. Traditional customs are upheld in this community until white missionaries question their way of living. Through Okonkwo’s experience, light is shed on the ugly truths of colonisation.
Weep Not, Child
by Ngugi wa Thiong'o
Weep Not Child is the story of three families and the roles they played in their community during the Mau Mau uprising in Kenya.
by Yaa Gyasi
This novel starts with two sisters Effia and Esi in the Gold Coast on very different paths in life. While Effia marries a colonial soldier, Esi is sold into slavery and shipped to America.
Homegoing tells their stories and the generations’ to follow; stories of slavery, colonialism, life in America after slavery, the birth of Ghana and the plights of people of colour in Ghana and the USA.
by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Americanah is the tale of Ifemelu and Obinze; young lovers in Nigeria. But as the political climate changes, the two are forced to make their own changes. Ifemelu continues her education in America whilst Obinze sneaks into the UK as an illegal immigrant.
The journey of their individual challenges and triumphs in the western world are explored. Over time Obinze returns to a more peaceful Nigeria and makes a name for himself. Ifemulu, recognised as a successful blogger, moves back home and is soon met with the bitter-sweet moment of revisiting the past with Obinze. Has their love stood the test of time?