2014 promises yet another exciting year for African literature. As the year rolls on, we take a look at some of the exciting new titles coming out, including new titles from Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor, Teju Cole, Ishmael Beah, Chris Abani and Dinaw Mengestu.
Fresh air is a collection of 16 short stories. The stories which cut across continents have a broad range of themes. The characters are portrayed in a way that the reader can identify with them and the situations they are in. Nsirim tells it as it is with no attempt to sugar-coat or to handle the issues raised in a saccharine-like manner.
First published in 1979 by Heinemann Educational Books Ltd as part of the African Writers Series , Toads of War (by Eddie Iroh) centers around the recapture of the Biafran town of Owerri during the Nigerian Civil War and the love-relationships that are rife in this town even in the midst of war.
The Crown of Thorns, by the Cameroonian author, Linus T. Asong, is a novel about the Biongong tribe of the Lebialem division of the South-West region of Cameroon. The Chief of Nkokonko Small Monje dies and his successor has to be chosen. Nji is disqualified and expelled from the tribe for sleeping with one of the chief’s thirty-eight wives. For reasons not mentioned in the novel, the D.O., interferes with the chief-making process and Antony Nkoaleck, the favorite of the elders of the village, is passed over for his younger brother, Alexander Nchindia. Alexander declines the offer and flees into the forest, but he is caught and enstooled under duress and the watchful eye of the D.O. and law-enforcing officers
Published in 2011 by Nmi Education, Not Without My Wife is a novel set in Anglophone Cameroon. Going back to the colonial era, the novel depicts life in the plantations, and exposes the inhumane treatment that the plantation workers suffered.
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.
Christopher Mlalazi’s Many Rivers, published by Lion Press Ltd in 2009, is a chilling account of a border jumper’s ordeal when he leaves his native Zimbabwe for South Africa in the late 1990s. Qinisela who is from Bulawayo, in southern Zimbabwe, is escaping a low-paid factory job and an economic crisis which is just beginning to bite. Like other like-minded, he has his sights on Egoli – the place of gold – as Johannesburg is famed.
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.
Senegalese author, Sembene Ousmane ‘s two novellas, The Money Order with White Genesis (published by Heinemann in 1972), highlight how societies in modern Africa struggle with moral issues and unusual situations. Dieng experiences bureaucratic incompetence and deceit in “The Money Order” which leads him to a public act of despair, while in “White Genesis”, the decline of a way of life is examined through a tragic tale of incest.
Our selection for October is Wife of the Gods. Enter this month’s competition for a chance to win a copy of this acclaimed debut novel by Ghanaian author, Dr. Kwei Quartey. Published in 2010 by Random House, Wife of the Gods introduces Detective Inspector Darko Dawson – a dedicated family man, rebel in the office, ace in the field–and one of the most appealing sleuths to come along in years. When we first meet Dawson, he’s been ordered by his cantankerous boss to leave behind his loving wife and young son in Ghana’s capital city to lead a murder investigation