Karo Oforofuo’s Susan’s Diary is a series of four books, each written independently. The stories are action-filled and read more like short action movies where mysteries are solved so fast. Susan Osande, the main character of the series is a survivor, a go-getter and a risk taker. Orphaned at a young age, she takes to the streets at the age of 16 when she can’t stand being mistreated by her guardian anymore.
News from Home (by Sefi Atta) is a short story collection published in 2010 by Interlink books, an imprint of Interlink Publishing Group Ltd. There are eleven stories in this book, mostly set in Nigeria and spanning across oceans to London and America. The opening story ‘The Miracle Worker’ introduces us to Makinde, a poor mechanic in Lagos whose life somersaults the day his wife claims to have seen a vision of the Virgin Mary on a windshield of an old car on his car-lot. The numbers that crowd his workplace the next day are overwhelming and he decides to turn a profit- the money he collects exposes him to more disaster and he eventually goes to the place he ridiculed- the church. In ‘Spoils’, a young Muslim girl, widowed at a young age laments about an NGO that helps young girls escape early marriages by giving them scholarships to further their education.
Published by Kwela Books in 2010, “Men of the South” is a remarkable novel, one which you can read over and over again because the prose is simply addictive! And it’s not just the prose that captivates, the sensitive issues covered in a humorous manner makes it even more fascinating. The reader will love the characters portrayed, laugh with them, and sympathize when they are sad. The story is set in South Africa, during and after the apartheid era. There are three major issues covered, each narrated by three different men; in such a way that each could make for an independent short story, but if connected together can make one great novel.
Set in post apartheid South Africa, Zukiswa Wanner’s debut novel, The Madams, is a fascinating story about three women, their families, growing up, careers, marriages, friendship and the love-hate relationship between maids and their madams. about . The word ‘madam’ is often used as a form of respectful or polite address to a woman.
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.
The year that Barack Obama makes history as the first black American President, is the year that Obi, a lawyer, makes 29 years and it works as a wakeup call for him- it is the year that he realizes he needs to settle down with a wife, and it is the year that he decides he needs a career change.
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.