First published in 2005, by Oshun books, the book is Doreen Baingana’s debut short story collection. There are eight linked short stories about three sisters; Rosa, Patti and Christine. Set mostly in Entebbe, with short glimpses into the cities of Kampala and Los Angeles, the story focuses on these three sisters and their growth from childhood, through adolescence to adulthood.
Originally written in Arabic and first published 1985, Akhanaten – Dweller in truth, written by Nobel Laureate Naguib Mafouz; is about the ‘heretic pharaoh’, the most infamous pharaoh in Egypt’s history.
Years after his death, a young man is swept by a strong desire to know the truth about the heretic pharaoh and his rather tragic and lonely end. Meriamun, travelling with his father is fascinated by the ruins of Akhataten, a city built by the heretic for his one and only god. Merianum has heard many stories about the young pharaoh who rejected his ancestor’s heritage, but on seeing the ruins he decides to seek for an impartial perspective of the events at the time.
First published in 1985, ‘The day the leader was killed’ is set against the backdrop of an important era in Egypt’s history- the Sadat regime. During his term as president, Anwar al Sadat made many changes but most eminent was the introduction of the infitah, an open door economic policy that led to the rise of wealthy citizens but proved detrimental to the middle class and working poor. In this lyrical novel, Naguib examines its impact on ordinary middle class families.
In The Helpers (published in 2010 by CreateSpace), Suzanna Nelson, author of Nightmare along the River Nile, delivers a thriller that readers will enjoy. This is a book packed with intrigue, suspense, and romance.
The story begins in Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. There is war going on, and Captain Pierre-Jean Phillippe and his boss Lance work for the French Military Intelligence. In the fight to bring about reconciliation in the deep-ethnic-hatred population, they receive more perturbing information that a missile has been imported into the country.
Suzanna Nelson’s book, Nightmare Along the River Nile: Abducted by the LRA, (published in 2011) is set in the 1990’s – a time when the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) was wreaking havoc in Northern Uganda. Edgar and his three friends have just finished their high school national examinations and are looking forward to joining university after the long vacation. Rather than take up a job like his friends, Edgar decides to move back home to help in the Catholic mission.
In The Strange Bride, Grace Ogot demonstrates how myths continue to elucidate the past and the present power relations. She uses myths to attack the patriarchal privileges of the traditional African setting. She departs from the foundational myth in this book that condemns women as villains who provoked god to force people to labor for a living.
Published in 2011 by W. W. Norton & Company, Beneath the Lion’s Gaze – Maaza Mengiste’s debut novel – is about the Ethiopian revolution which begun in 1974, during the last days of Emperor Haile Selassie’s long rule. At the time, Haile Selassie’s government had lost public confidence following a famine in Wello province. The story begins as a young man lies on the operating table with a bullet in his back. He is a student protestor, among the many that are involved in the uprising to throw Selassie out of power.
At the time she wrote Bread from the Sky, Marie McCarthy had just gone through a divorce and she needed a career change. So she decided to spend some time in Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer. The book is a true story of her travel experience in Togo, West Africa.
A nurse, tutor, journalist, politician and diplomat, Grace Agot is considered one of East Africa’s best writers. She is also the founding member of the Writers Association of Kenya. Land Without Thunder and Other Stories, first published in 1968, was her first book.
Bessie Head was born in South Africa in 1937, but died tragically in 1986, leaving behind a good collection of literally works. She is one of Africa’s best known female writers. When The Rain Clouds Gather was her first novel