Our journey as a club dates back to 2010, and was inspired by the conviction that African literature had an important contribution to make in shaping what the world thought about Africa and its people.
Back in 2009, a few months before we opened the site, Nigerian author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, delivered her famous TED Talk in which she argued against what she called ‘the danger of a single story’. Recalling how she had discovered her ‘authentic cultural voice’, Adichie warned, “If we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.”
At the heart of her talk was the message that stories about Africa have all too often followed one narrative – sadly a negative one.
And that’s the challenge that we have taken on here at the Africa Book Club. Indeed, as we found out when we launched the Africa Book Club, there were tens of thousands, who shared the same conviction, and recognized the importance of telling Africa’s diverse and rich stories.
Shortly after we founded the club, we reviewed Camara Laye’s The African Child, one of the most well known books ever written by an African author (also titled The Dark Child in some editions). Reacting to the review, one reader recalled her time as a US Peace Corps volunteer in West Africa.
“When I was a Peace corps volunteer in northern Nigeria in 1970, teaching English to 8th grade boys who had been sent by their villages to study in a high school in the big city (Maiduguri), I set aside the British chosen literature and picked up The African Child. Since I only had the one book (from the Peace Corps), I read it to my students. They were enthralled. They did not know there was literature about them (sound familiar?). At times the classroom was awash in tears, theirs and mine,” she wrote.
Our aim is to help keep African story-telling alive, and to share the best of African literature with the rest of the world. Only by giving voice to our writers and the stories they tell can we create a world where our continent’s narrative is not dominated by the stories of bad leadership and grinding poverty. However valid as these negative stories may be, there are others – positive and inspiring that need to be shared.
At Africa Book Club, our goal is simple – to promote African writing and bring the best African authors and stories to the world.
Join the Africa Book Club
Africa Book Club is a place to share your love for reading and interest in African writing with people from all over the world. We aim to provide a space to celebrate and recognize the best writing from or about the beautiful continent of Africa. Through this site, Africa Book Club features blog postings, news, tidbits, reviews, and posts about Africa’s established and emerging writers. Every month, we interview an African author, review recently released titles and profile books that represent some of the best contemporary African writing around.
Joining the Africa Book Club couldn’t be easier. Simply click here to learn how you can be a part of the club. Join in, and share your stories and recollections about the best books you’ve read on or about Africa. Comment on the articles, posts, featured authors and book reviews. Tell us what you are reading, write a review about the books that you have found most interesting, or if you are a writer looking to get published, send us your information. We would love to hear from you.
Support the Club
Africa Book Club depends on contributions from readers for its operations. Please consider becoming a friend of the Africa Book Club by supporting us in any one of the following ways.
Your support helps to keep this site up, and enables us to grow the site and invest in supporting African literature.
Thank you for your support!