Four children – Ndike, Tobe, Somto and Ezinne – respond to an emergency call from home that their mother Ma’Kanu is dying. Ma’Kanu, who is in the last throes of death, makes a final demand of her children that her wake be held while she is still alive. The wake, she says, must be held with no tears and no sadness. The children must each tell her a story with random words she supplies them.
Self delusion and self awareness are central themes in Mabanckou’s work. By patiently chronicling the tragicomedies surrounding him, Broken Glass testifies of life’s harshness when one is poor and has nothing but liquor and past dreams to escape his condition. But humour is never far with Mabanckou, and Broken Glass, with its inimitable prose can soothe the direst tragedies.
Set in the city of Lagos, Nigeria, Everything good Will Come is a story about Enitan, the only child of a lawyer father and a fanatic mother who turns to religion as a means of escape instead of dealing with her marital problems. Enitan is a spoilt child who has lived a sheltered life, and is only exposed to another perspective of the world because of her friendship with Sheri.
Opening Spaces is an anthology celebrating African women writers. It features short stories from renowned female writers such as Ama Ata Aidoo, Leila Aboulela, Ifeoma Okoye, Milly Jafta, Veronique Tadjo, Lilia Momple and a host of others.
In So Long a Letter, the late Mariama Bâ offers a sensitive portrayal of women’s struggle in her native Senegal on the dawn of independence. Neither a polemic nor an advice manual, Bâ explores the complex difficulties facing two Muslim women as they wrestle with their husbands’ second marriages. A subtle and thought-provoking novel, it not only exposes the human cost of polygamy but the very real hopes and betrayals of those standing on the threshold of change.
Armah confronts a key question that many Africans face on returning home from overseas. What is the most important thing that Africans who travel outside the continent to say, the United States, can bring home? Is it the ostentatious goodies so all can believe that they have indeed travelled?
Baba Segi is a polygamist with four wives. Of his four wives, only Bolanle, the last, is the wife of his choice. Bolanle is a university graduate. She has no “Iya” alias because she is unable to conceive. The other wives, especially Iya Segi and Iya Femi, who are both illiterates, see a common enemy in Bolanle.
Nervous Conditions, the first novel by a black Zimbabwean woman in English is an engaging and elegant book about what it means to belong to more than one culture. The simple but engaging story is told by a young woman named Tambudzai.
The Purple Violet of Oshaantu was Namibian author Neshani Andreas’ first book, first published in 2001 by Heinmann Publishers. In the book, Andreas writes about the different views on marriage held by various women. And she seems to suggest that, to an extent, women can and must make the choice – to either enjoy or endure marriage.
In Minaret, Leila Aboulela continues her exploration into the cross-cultural topics that she embarked on in her award-winning debut novel, The Translator (1999). Against the backdrop of multicultural London communities with its intricate class and religious tensions, the author builds a multifaceted story around Najwa, the central figure and first-person narrator, as she searches for her place among the city’s diverse milieus