In Unanswered Cries, award-winning Sierra Leonian writer, Osman Conteh tackles the subject of female circumcision. Set in Sierra Leone, the book centers around Olabisi, a 14-year old girl, who faces circumcision. While her father is Creole and opposes the practice, her mother, who is from the Temne tribe, is all for it. The parents are not married to each other and live apart.
Leila Aboulela is a Sudanese writer and playwright, currently based in Scotland. She won the first Caine Prize for African Writing in 2000, and is the author of three acclaimed novels, including Lyrics Alley, which won the 2011 Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Book of the Year and was listed for the Orange and Commonwealth Writers prizes.
Two authors, Nadifa Mohamed from Somalia and Maaza Mangiste from Ethiopia are interviewed by Warscapes, an independent online magazine that provides a lens into current conflicts across the world. Inspired by her father’s life, Mohamed’s novel follows the epic journey of an endearing young boy, Jama, who yearns to connect with his roots while to struggling to make ends meet on a daily basis. Maaza Mengiste’s Beneath the Lion’s Gaze recreates the 1970 revolution in Ethiopia, which ended the monarchy of the Haile Selassie and installed the particularly brutal Derg regime.
Oguine’s brilliant and funny “A squatter’s Tale” is about Obi, a young high-flying Nigerian financier who decides to travel to America to seek greener pastures after the finance company he works for suddenly collapses. As a little boy of ten, his mother’s younger brother, Happiness had visited them from America displaying a show of wealth which registered on young Obi’s mind. Little wonder then, that when Obi decides he must leave the country, it is America he chooses.
In Hooked: Secrets and Highs of a Sober Addict, Melinda Ferguson explores, perhaps, the only thing more difficult than breaking a drug habit. Clean for seven/eight years – going on to 10 – Ferguson discovers that it is a constant uphill battle to stay off drugs. There are ‘dangerous places’ where those wishing to steer their lives away from cocaine, heroin and other drugs of choice need to avoid. A bar and nightclub, it would appear, is not the best place for someone trying to conquer alcoholism.
Powder Necklace is a coming of age novel where the main character, Lila searches for her own identity through several travels she embarks upon. Initially, Lila lives with her divorced mother in London but soon after, her mother sends her to Ghana where Lila ends up attending a school called Dadaba Senior Secondary School
As with her other books, Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun displays a sophisticated simple way of writing that one can’t get enough of. The book is written with flowing prose, and long after I had finished it, I still felt I wanted to read on and on. It is no wonder that the great Nigerian author Chinua Achebe has described Adichie as being “endowed with the gift of ancient storytellers.”
Author Kwei Quartey earns a nod of admiration for his literary performance in Wife of the Gods. Quartey eloquently constructed a tale that exhibited authentic Ghanaian culture. Whether by describing various foods, languages, or customs, Quartey seemed to effortlessly familiarize the reader to numerous traditions.
First published in 2002, The Moon Also Sets is a fascinating story set in Isiakpu, a typical African Village in Nigeria and the University of Embakassi, a modern African university. It is a story that revolves around two women- mother and daughter but what makes it more exciting is that it was written by a man and the women turn out to be the heroes of the story.
Set in the city of Accra, Ghana during colonial rule, Cloth Girl is about how an affluent man’s desire changed the course of a young girl’s life. At the center of the story is Matilda, a young Ga girl of fourteen. One fateful day, she carries some important documents to give to give to her uncle, who works for an influential lawyer. While there, she catches the lawyer’s attention.