African Novels To Read This Fall
The story follows two half-sisters, Effia and Esi, born into different villages in eighteenth-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and lives in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle. Unbeknownst to Effia, her sister, Esi, is imprisoned beneath her in the castle’s dungeons, sold with thousands of others into the Gold Coast’s booming slave trade and shipped off to America, where her children and grandchildren will be raised in slavery. One thread of Homegoing follows Effia’s decedents through centuries of warfare in Ghana as the Fante and Asante nations wrestle with the slave trade, the other thread follows Esi and her children into America.
Homegoing is a tremendous reading experience by an astonishingly gifted young writer, this novel herald the arrival of a major new voice in contemporary fiction.
The Rise of The African Novel isthe first book to situate South African and African-language literature of the late 1880s through the early 1940s to the literature of decolonization that spanned the 1950s through the 1980s and the contemporary generation of established and emerging continental and diaspora African writers.
This book will become a foundational text in African literary studies, as it raises questions about the very nature of African literature and criticism.
The story is narrated by the chi, or spirit of a young poultry farmer named Chinonso. His life is set off course when he sees a woman who is about to jump off a bridge. Horrified by her recklessness, he hurls two of his chickens off the bridge. The woman, Ndali, is stopped in her tracks. Chinonso and Ndali fall in love but she is from an educated and wealthy family. When her family objects to the union on the grounds that he is not her social equal, Chinonso sells most of his possessions to attend a college in Cyprus. But when he arrives, he discovers that he has been utterly duped by the young Nigerian who had made the arrangements for him. Penniless, homeless, he gets further and further away from his dream and from home.
A novel bursting with wit, seduction and dark humour, Novuyo Rosa Tshuma’s unflinching epic about the fall of Rhodesia and the turbulent birth of Zimbabwe celebrates the persistence of the oppressed in a nation seeking it identity amid political chaos and violence.
In the chronic turmoil of Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe, Abednego and Agnes Mlambo’s teenage son, Bukhosi has gone missing. Erudite, enigmatic Zamani, their lodger, seems to be their last and best hope for finding him. In his eagerness to help, Zamani is almost par of the family but that isn’t enough. Ingratiating himself to Mama Agnes and feeding alcoholic Abednego’s addiction, he is desperate to extract their life stories and make their family his own. As the Mlambo’s pray for their son’s return, Zamani will stop at nothing to make a home for himself.
All Our Namesis a story of two young men who come of age during an African revolution, drawn from the safe confines of the university campus into the intensifying clamour of the streets outside. But as the line between idealism and violence begins to blur, the friends are driven apart, one into the deepest peril as the movement gather inexorable force and the other into the safety of exile in the American Midwest. There, pretending to be an exchanges student, he falls in love with a social worker and settles in small-town life. Yet this idyll is inescapably darkened by the secrets of his past, the acts he committed and the work he left unfinished. Most of all, he is haunted by the beloved friend he left behind, the charismatic leader who first guided him to revolution and then sacrificed everything to ensure his freedom.
On the surface, Niru leads a charmed life. Raised by two attentive parents in Washington D.C, he is the top student and track star at his prestigious private high school. Bound for Harvard in the fall, his future is bright. But Niru has a painful secret: he is queer – an abominable sin to his conservative Nigerian parents. No one knows except for his best friend, Meredith. When is father accidently discovers Niru is gay, the fall out is brutal and swift. Coping with troubles of her own, Meredith finds she has little left emotionally to offer him. As the best friends struggle to reconcile their desires against the expectations and institutions that seek to define them, they find themselves speeding toward a future more violent and senseless than they can imagine. Neither will escape unscathed.