Top 10 Books to Read this Summer: Explore African Authors

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It summer time so why not spend your free time reading? Here are Top 10 must read books by African Authors…

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The Beautiful Things that Heaven Bears

by Dinaw Mengestu

Ethiopia

This novel focuses on the life of Sepha Stephanos, an Ethiopian immigrant living in D.C. after fleeing his country’s revolution seventeen years earlier. Now he finds himself running a failing grocery store in a poor African-American section of the city. Sepha and his only companions two fellow African immigrants, ruminate on the past and their longing for his home continent as he faces his own inward crisis of displacement and identity while simultaneously marveling at the redevelopment of his neighborhood.

 

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Tears of the Giraffe

(No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency #2)

By Alexander McCall Smith

Botswana

This novel features Precious Ramotswe, the owner of Botswana’s only detective agency. Among her cases are wayward wives, unscrupulous maids and the challenge of a mother’s pain over her lost son.

 

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Arrow of God

By Chinua Achebe

Nigeria

Set in the Ibo heartland of eastern Nigeria, one of Africa’s best-known writers describes the conflict between old and new in its most poignant aspect: the personal struggle between father and son.

 

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Girls at War and Other Stories

Fiction

By Chinua Achebe

Nigeria

Girls at War and Other Stories reveals the essence of life in Nigeria and traces twenty years in the literary career of one of this century’s most acclaimed writers. In this collection of stories, Chinua Achebe takes us inside the heart and soul of a people whose pride and ideals must compete with the simple struggle to survive.

 

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Half of a Yellow Sun

By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Nigeria

This is a novel based in Nigeria during the civil war “Biafran War” that blighted the country in the 1960s. Chimamanda Adichie tells a story about the end of colonialism, ethnic allegiances, class and race – and about the ways in which love can complicate all of these things.

 

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Americanah

Fiction

By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Nigeria

A story of love and race centered on a young woman from Nigeria who immigrates to America for a university education. It tells a story of the difficult choices and challenges they had to face in the countries they come to call home.

 

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So Long a Letter

By Mariama Bâ, Modupe-Bode-Thomas (Translator)

Senegal

This novel is in the form of a letter, written by the widowed Ramatoulaye and describing her struggle for survival. It is the winner of the Noma Award.

 

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The Stranger

By Albert Camus, Matthew Ward (Translator)

Algeria

Through the story of an ordinary man unwittingly drawn into a senseless murder on an Algerian beach, Camus explored what he termed “the nakedness of man faced with the absurd.” First published in English in 1946; now in a new translation by Matthew Ward.

 

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The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born

By Ayi Kwei Armah

Fiction

Ghana

A railway freight clerk in Ghana attempts to hold out against the pressures that impel him toward corruption in both his family and his country. The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born is the novel that catapulted Ayi Kwei Armah into the limelight. The novel is generally a satirical attack on the Ghanaian society during Kwame Nkrumah’s regime and the period immediately after independence in the 1960s. It is often claimed to rank with “Things Fall Apart” as one of the high points of post-colonial African Literature.

 

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Ghana Must Go

By Taiye Selasi

Fiction

Ghana

The death of a renowned surgeon and failed husband, Kweku Sai sends a ripple around the world, bringing together the family he abandoned years before. Ghana Must Go is their story. This novel is a portrait of a modern family, and an exploration of the importance of where they come from to who they are.

 

 

 

 

 

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