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.
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.
The late Rushegye (or Old Fox, as he was popularly known) is best remembered for his witty column in the Sunday Vision. The Corrupt, the Quick, and the Dead embodies Rushegye’s unique style, great humour and bitter satire, while dealing with the complex social and political issues of modern post-colonial Africa. It contends for space with giant works (with related themes) such as Meja Mwangi’s Going Down River Road or even Wole Soyinka’s The Trials of Brother Jero.
Set in Ghana and America, Malcolm Frierson’s debut novel, A Place In the World, explores the often difficult issue of race and its influence on American society. Kwame, the man at the center of the novel, is a brilliant university professor, who is passionate about his African roots. With his wife Evelyn, Kwame travels to Ghana, where the couple spends a year, while they wait to adopt a child. Along the way, Kwame becomes romantically involved with his teaching assistant, Layla, and eventually divorces his wife.
This is a simple story of two worlds; one, the underbelly of urban Dar-es-Salaam where Moses the child vagrant stakes his claim to eke out a living and the other, the wilderness of Tanzania where man remains an unwelcome intruder. The author, Mark Thornton, is an internationally respected wilderness safari guide and conservationist.
Alma Nel, is Afrikaner and those with a passing knowledge of the volk will know that they, at least most, speak atrocious English. Through De Nooy’s pen, Alma’ s proficiency, or lack of it, is comical. Her gay son Staal, whose body she’s in Amsterdam to haul back home to rural South Africa after a drowning, was guilty of the same grammatical violation of the Queen’s language.
Published in 2011 by Serpent’s Tail, Dust Devils, written by Roger Smith, is a novel full of pace. At the center of the plot, is Inja Moses Mazibuko, a hired gun who does the dirty work of his political principal without asking questions. He’s trigger-happy and dispenses of bodies with the same ease and regularity the normal world does with unfinished food. We’re introduced to him while he’s on assignment in Cape Town to eliminate yet another statistic – Ben Baker, who knows too much about Mazibuko’s boss, the Chief. To make a clean sweep, he must also finish off Baker’s mistress, Rosie Dell.