Zimbabwean author Tendai Rinos Mwanaka is our author of the week. — A full-time writer, he lived in South Africa for two and a half years before returning to his homeland. He has written over 200 published stories. His most recent book, “Keys In the River: : Notes from a Modern Chimurenga”, is a novel of interlinked stories about life in modern day Zimbabwe. It was published this year by Savant Books.
Published by Heinemann in 1979 and set in colonial Nigeria, Buchi Emecheta’s Joys of Motherhood is a satirical look at the supposed thrills of motherhood. Her focus is an Ibo woman, Nnu Ego who through endless pregnancies, toil and degradation and a Nigeria in transition, struggles with a motherhood role defined for her by tradition, patriarchy and superstition.
Laila Lalami is a novelist and essayist, and currently an associate professor of creative writing at the University of California at Riverside. Born and raised in Morocco, she attended Université Mohammed-V in Rabat, University College in London, and the University of Southern California, where she earned a Ph.D. in linguistics. She is the author of the short story collection Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits, which was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award, and the novel Secret Son, which was on the Orange Prize longlist. In this interview with Africa Book Club, she talks about her favorite writers and what it takes to succeed as a writer.
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.
Life in the village can be fun and idyllic. It can also be frustrating and disastrous. It has a way of shaping people’s lives and putting them in a race to continually justify themselves. Such is the effect the village had on the Jumais, the family at the center of Diaries of A Dead Africa. This book tells the story of how rumors, envy and caring about what others said influenced the way the Jumais lived their lives.
In Memoirs of a Porcupine, a hilarious novel, published in May 2011 by Serpent’s Tail, the Congo-Brazzaville-born author Alain Mabanckou brilliantly wraps the vibrant rhythm of the African oral tradition in a corrosive and sarcastic style. His pulsating, hard-headed writing – the book does not count a single full stop – mixed with a plot worthy of the best crime fiction results in a true “beat” that leaves its reader breathless and dazzled. Subtly mocking almost everything he can, from the lasting influence of custom in African societies to the allegedly emancipating European science, Mabanckou offers a metaphoric tale that gives food for thought – only once the last laugh has faded.
Renowned author, Ngugi wa Thiong’o delivers a compelling story of greed, love, corruption, sorcery, selfishness, betrayal, power and the urge to dominate others.
First published in 2007 by Anchor, Wizard of the Crow is about a fictional country, Aburiria which is ruled by an autocratic leader known as ‘The Ruler’.
First published in 1979, The Cockroach Dance is the dramatic story of one man’s fight against injustice and corrupt systems. From the first sentence, “the Bathroom Man’s child was wailing his lungs sick…………..in a malicious conspiracy with the world, the gods had burdened the impoverished mechanic with a mentally-handicapped offspring…’’, the reader is mesmerized.