Award-winning Congolese (Brazzaville) author Alain Mabanckou of an impressive list of novels to his name, delves with AFRICAN PSYCHO (2003) into the underbelly of a large African industrial city in disarray. His stinging critique of that society and its institutions, vaguely identifiable as his own, its post-colonial links to “the country over there” (France) and the rivalry with the other Congo (DRC), is couched in bitter, yet at the same time hilarious satire and farce.
Chinodya’s book, which won the Best Book category for the 1990 Commonwealth Writers Regional Prize, is a story about Zimbabwe’s transition from white domination to independence. The novel vividly portrays the liberation war’s effects on individuals and the scars left behind.
Set against the backdrop of the post colonial era in Kenya, Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s Devil on the Cross depicts irony at its peak – with the devil on the cross instead of Jesus. Written entirely in Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s Gikuyu language after he declared he would no longer write in English, the book is a critical examination of Kenyan society. Deeply allegorical, it was written while the author was detained in prison.
The Jero Plays by Wole Soyinka consist of two short plays re-released as a collection in 1973. The Trials of Brother Jero first came out in 1964, while Jero’s Metamorphosis was published two years later in 1966. Both plays satirize Christianity and religious hypocrisy, particularly, the unquestioning devotion that many converts display towards their spiritual leaders, often exposing themselves to manipulation in the process.