First published in 1994 by Femrite Publications Ltd, The Invisible Weevil is Mary Karooro Okurut’s fourth book. Okurut, who is currently a Ugandan politician, is also celebrated columnist, former literature lecturer, and the founder of Uganda Women Writers Association. Set in Uganda, the plot centers on the country’s tragic political regimes, illustrated by thinly disguised […]
Ayittey’s latest book, released on November 8, 2011, and published by Palgrave McMillan, sets out proposals to, “help oppressed people elsewhere in the world battling dictators and struggling to bring democratic change to their countries peacefully – without violence, without firing a shot, and without Western help or intervention.
The River and the Source was the winner of the Commonwealth Writers Prize (Best First Book – Africa), as well as and the Jomo Kenyatta Prize for Literature, in 1995. It is a sweeping story following the lives of three generations of women, from Akoko, born into a traditional Luo community, to her grandchild Awiti, whose children live into the late twentieth century.
‘Imagine this’ is the diary account of Omolola Ogunwole, a young girl who started keeping a diary from the age of nine. The diary, which she named ‘Jupiter’ was a constant companion to her when she was uprooted from familiar surroundings to a place where no one understood her. It chronicles ten years of her life.
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.
Our book giveway for October 2011 is “Beneath the Lion’s Gaze”, by Ethiopian-born author Maaza Mengiste. Published in January 2010, Mengiste’s debut novel is an epic tale of a father and two sons, of betrayals and loyalties, of a family unraveling in the wake of Ethiopia’s revolution.
Glen Retief writes about growing up as a young white South African during the final years of Apartheid. And while his story is, at its core, indeed a memoir, the book as a whole is full of symbolism, and touches on subjects that go beyond the narrator’s person.
I Do Not Come to You by Chance is a comic novel about the life and times of Kingsley, a young 419er. A 419er, we learn, is a nickname given to those in Nigeria who run email scams, and fittingly enough, refers to the section of the penal code under which such crimes are prosecuted. Within Kingley’s story, is presented a broad picture of contemporary Nigeria, in a novel that is both witty and well observed.
As with her other books, Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun displays a sophisticated simple way of writing that one can’t get enough of. The book is written with flowing prose, and long after I had finished it, I still felt I wanted to read on and on. It is no wonder that the great Nigerian author Chinua Achebe has described Adichie as being “endowed with the gift of ancient storytellers.”
Published in 2011 by Jacana Media (South Africa), Denis Hirson’s “The Dancing and the Death on Lemon Street” is an elegant, bitter-sweet novel that leaves its reader sore and admiring altogether. Admiring for this meticulous account of the first months of 1960 in an anonymous white suburb of Johannesburg – where lawns are razor cut and black maids discretely pop up in tubular pastel dresses as soon as called – is an evocative tour de force.