This spell binding and inspiring novel weaves deception, cultures and the intrigue of love for a romantic journey that spans two continents and challenges the cornerstone of faith. When Feranmi's parents decide it's time for their daughter to get married, they have the perfect man for the job. Is being single a crime? Why will her parents not let this rest? When she was ready to get married she'll do the picking. Her parents are coming to the U.S for a visit, so she comes up with the perfect plan to deceive them into believing she is in a committed relationship. Luckily, Alex an old friend, is willing to play the part but on one condition....
As a child, Ali Neuman ran away from home to escape the Inkatha, a militant political party at war with the then-underground African National Congress. He and his mother are the only members of his family that survived the carnage of those years and the psychological scars remain. Today, Neuman is chief of the homicide branch of the Cape Town police, a job in which he must do battle with South Africa’s two scourges: widespread violence and AIDS. When the mutilated corpse of a young white woman is found in the city’s botanical gardens, Neuman’s job gets even more difficult. He is chasing one false lead after another when a second corpse, again that of a white woman, is found. This time, the body bears signs of a Zulu ritual. A new evil has insinuated itself into this recently integrated city. And a new drug: traces of an unknown narcotic have been found in the blood of both victims. The investigation will take Neuman back to his homeland, where he will discover that the once bloody killing fields have become the ideal no-man’s land for unscrupulous multinationals, and that the apparatchiks of apartheid still lurk in the shadows and the back rooms of a society struggling toward reconciliation.
Leila Aboulela's American debut is a provocative, timely, and engaging novel about a young Muslim woman -- once privileged and secular in her native land and now impoverished in London -- gradually embracing her orthodox faith. With her Muslim hijab and down-turned gaze, Najwa is invisible to most eyes, especially to the rich families whose houses she cleans in London. Twenty years ago, Najwa, then at university in Khartoum, would never have imagined that one day she would be a maid. An upper-class Westernized Sudanese, her dreams were to marry well and raise a family. But a coup forces the young woman and her family into political exile in London. Soon orphaned, she finds solace and companionship within the Muslim community. Then Najwa meets Tamer, the intense, lonely younger brother of her employer. They find a common bond in faith and slowly, silently, begin to fall in love. Written with directness and force, "Minaret" is a lyric and insightful novel about Islam and an alluring glimpse into a culture Westerners are only just beginning to understand.
Despite billions of dollars of aid and the best efforts of the international community to improve economies and bolster democracy across Africa, violent dictatorships persist. As a result, millions have died, economies are in shambles, and whole states are on the brink of collapse. Political observers and policymakers are starting to believe that economic aid is not the key to saving Africa. So what does the continent need to do to throw off the shackles of militant rule? African policy expert George Ayittey argues that before Africa can prosper, she must be free. Taking a hard look at the fight against dictatorships around the world, from Ukraine's orange revolution in 2004 to Iran's Green Revolution last year, he examines what strategies worked in the struggle to establish democracy through revolution. Ayittey also offers strategies for the West to help Africa in her quest for freedom, including smarter sanctions and establishing fellowships for African students.
Rural Botswana is the backdrop for When Rain Clouds Gather, the first novel published by one of Africa's leading woman writers in English, Bessie Head (1937-1986). Inspired by her own traumatic life experiences as an outcast in Apartheid South African society and as a refugee living at the Bamangwato Development Association Farm in Botswana, Head's tough and telling classic work is set in the poverty-stricken village of Golema Mmidi, a haven to exiles. A South African political refugee and an Englishman join forces to revolutionize the villagers' traditional farming methods, but their task is fraught with hazards as the pressures of tradition, opposition from the local chief, and the unrelenting climate threaten to divide and devastate the fragile community. Head's layered, compelling story confronts the complexities of such topics as social and political change, conflict between science and traditional ways, tribalism, the role of traditional African chiefs, religion, race relations, and male female relations.