Released in February 2013 by Ricochet Books, Nigerians in Space is Deji Olukotun’s debut novel. The plot spans through USA, Switzerland, Paris, Nigeria and South Africa. It is a tale of murder, crime, shattered dreams, betrayal. The story features three lead characters: Wale, a Nigerian lunar geologist, Thursday Malaysius, an abalone poacher, and Melissa, a girl from Zimbabwe with a skin condition that is as scary as it is fascinating.
In Mogadishu Diaries 1992-1993: Bloodlines (published in 2012), Eddie Clay provides a fictional account of the mission, that draws from his real-life experience. Clay is a former US Marine, who served in the Operation Restore Hope mission to Somalia from 9 December 1992 until 21 March 1993. Written in the first person, the story is told by Gunnery Sergeant Thompson.
Loyce is a beautiful and intelligent young woman from an upper class Nigerian family living in Houston. The Amaechi family has been following certain religious norms and traditions for generations. Loyce and her siblings have been brought up well; and are expected to follow these traditions. She knows she has to complete college before she can think of dating or even marriage. When Loyce turns 16, peer pressure comes in and in most cases she clashes with her parents in a bid to make her friends happy.
Chengwe is a young man who has been serving in the police force in his country. Corruption and oppression of the masses has become the order of the day; government officials use the police to harass the people.
As a police officer, Chengwe has been forced to commit many offenses which he is not proud of. But when he is given a dangerous ultimatum to either kill or be killed, he knows he has to flee, if only to save his life. With only a rucksack, he sets off in the South to take refuge in the neighboring country.
Set mainly in the UK, this romantic story makes for a refreshing read – certainly a departure from other African stories that mostly center on the continent’s instabilities. Lola is a young, outspoken, confident and energetic woman. With her four friends – Funmi, Temmy, Titi, and Maureen – they make up a close circle of friends albeit with very different personalities. They are all educated young women, with good jobs but all struggling with their love relationships.
First published in 2005, by Oshun books, the book is Doreen Baingana’s debut short story collection. There are eight linked short stories about three sisters; Rosa, Patti and Christine. Set mostly in Entebbe, with short glimpses into the cities of Kampala and Los Angeles, the story focuses on these three sisters and their growth from childhood, through adolescence to adulthood.
Originally written in Arabic and first published 1985, Akhanaten – Dweller in truth, written by Nobel Laureate Naguib Mafouz; is about the ‘heretic pharaoh’, the most infamous pharaoh in Egypt’s history.
Years after his death, a young man is swept by a strong desire to know the truth about the heretic pharaoh and his rather tragic and lonely end. Meriamun, travelling with his father is fascinated by the ruins of Akhataten, a city built by the heretic for his one and only god. Merianum has heard many stories about the young pharaoh who rejected his ancestor’s heritage, but on seeing the ruins he decides to seek for an impartial perspective of the events at the time.
First published in 1985, ‘The day the leader was killed’ is set against the backdrop of an important era in Egypt’s history- the Sadat regime. During his term as president, Anwar al Sadat made many changes but most eminent was the introduction of the infitah, an open door economic policy that led to the rise of wealthy citizens but proved detrimental to the middle class and working poor. In this lyrical novel, Naguib examines its impact on ordinary middle class families.
In The Helpers (published in 2010 by CreateSpace), Suzanna Nelson, author of Nightmare along the River Nile, delivers a thriller that readers will enjoy. This is a book packed with intrigue, suspense, and romance.
The story begins in Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. There is war going on, and Captain Pierre-Jean Phillippe and his boss Lance work for the French Military Intelligence. In the fight to bring about reconciliation in the deep-ethnic-hatred population, they receive more perturbing information that a missile has been imported into the country.