Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart, 1958
Nigeria’s most famous writer portrays the impact of British colonization on the life of a settled African community. The author not only informs the outside world about Ibo cultural traditions, but also reminds his own people of the value of their past.
Meshack Asare, Sosu’s Call, 1999
This book received UNESCO’s 1st Prize for Children’s Literature.
Wole Soyinka, Ake: The Years of Childhood, 1981
The evocation of the wonder of a child’s discovery of the world and his place in it.
Half of a Yellow Sun is a novel by the Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Published in 2006 by Knopf/Anchor, it tells the story of the Biafran War through the perspective of the characters Olanna, Ugwu, and Richard.
Mariama Bâ, Une si longue lettre, 1979
The Senegalese writer Mariama Bâ (1929-1981) received the 1980 Noma Award for Publishing in Africa for this novel that captures the everyday frustrations that many African women face, especially after the death of their spouses.
Mia Couto, Terra Sonâmbula 1992
Born in Mozambique in 1955, Couto has managed to blend, in a unique way, African oral tradition and Portuguese literary language. More than just a novel about the recent civil war in Mozambique, this is a book in which broken and fragmented identities are exposed.
Tsitsi Dangarembga, Nervous Conditions, 1988
The first novel from this Zimbabwean writer portrays an African society whose younger generation of women struggle with varying degrees of success and failure.
Cheikh Anta Diop, Antériorité des Civilisations Nègres / The African Origins of Civilization: Myth or Reality, 1955
This book presents Diop’s main thesis that historical, archaeological and anthropological evidence supports the theory that the civilization of ancient Egypt, the first that history records, was actually Negroid in origin. The English text is a one-volume translation of the major sections of the first and last of the books by Cheikh Anta Diop (1923-1986), i.e., Nations Nègres et Culture (1954) andAntériorite des Civilisations Nègres (1967)
Assia Djebar, L’Amour, La Fantasia, 1985
Djebar is a contemporary writer from Algeria. The novel describes the conquest of Algeria and the war of independence from a woman’s perspective.
Naguib Mahfouz, The Cairo Trilogy, 1945
The Cairo Trilogy is a panoramic three-part work written to explain the sensitivity and mentality of the people who lived in Cairo from the 1900s to the 1940s. Palace walk (1990), Palace of desire(1991) and Sugar street (1992) each gives a rich description of their daily lives while portraying the wider historical moments of the time.
Thomas Mofolo, Chaka, 1925
The central figure in this historical novel written in Sesotho, is Chaka Zulu – the famous chief of the Zulu people. Mofolo (1876-1948) explores the theme of power and its effect on those who have too much – a cautionary tale that Africa’s modern leaders ought to heed.
Léopold Sédar Senghor, Oeuvre Poétique, 1961
Oeuvre Poetique (1990) was originally published as Poèmes (1964), bringing together Chants d’Ombre (1945), Hosties Noires (1948), Ethiopiques (1956) and Nocturnes (1961). In his poems Senghor explores the mythic origins of the African persona.
Ngugi wa Thiongo, A Grain of Wheat, 1967
Celebrated Kenyan author Ngugi wa Thiongo depicts some of the dilemmas that face an emerging nation through the lense of a small village and its people as they prepare for the coming of independence.
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I invite YOU to join the AMOIZE book club! We’ll post the books that are upcoming with a chapter we will highlight for discussion. Monthly, I will be hosting a live online chat discussion.