Discover something new about yourself and others… with 6 novelty books we love by African writers. From the trials and tribulations of the compelling book, The Reactive by Masande Ntshanga to the advice of a lifetime from feminist and best-selling author Chimandanda Ngozi Adichie, writer of Dear Ijeawele, Or A Feminist Manifesto In Fifteen Suggestions, you are sure to want to seek out and read more…
DEAR IJEAWELE, OR A FEMINIST MANIFESTO IN FIFTEEN SUGGESTIONS
by Chimandanda Ngozi Adichie
On the heels of her best-selling book We Should All Be Feminists comes a manifesto written by Nigerian novelist Chimandanda Ngozi Adichie to a dear friend. Her friend asked, how do you raise a baby girl as a feminist? In her response comes a compelling, direct, wryly funny, and perceptive new statement about feminism today.
Invaluable and loaded with fifteen powerful suggestions to mothers and women, Dear Ijeawele empowers women to up-bring little girls to become strong, independent women. An excerpt reads:
Give yourself room to fail. A new mother does not necessarily know how to calm a crying baby. Don’t assume that you should know everything. Read books, look things up on the Internet, ask older parents, or just use trial and error. But above all, let your focus be on remaining a full person. Take time for yourself. Nurture your own needs.
Published by Penguin Random House, read more about the novel here.Release date: 7 March 2017
I’M JUDGING YOU: THE DO-BETTER MANUAL
by Luvvie Ajayi
As her debut novel, comedian, activist, and hugely popular culture blogger Luvvie Ajayi brings a “do-better” approach in an advice book of essays. Handing out lessons and side-eyes on life, social media, culture and fame, the manual is a comedic guidebook in addressing the everyday quarrels of life. Shonda Rhimes has deemed it, "A truth-riot of a book!"
The beginning page reads: Anyway, at times like this, when someone obviously lacks sense, you ask yourself, “Did some of us not get a limited-edition handbook with instructions on how not to suck? Was there a boot camp on decency that some people simply missed the sign-up for?” Why are people terrible?”
Published by Holt Paperbacks, read more about the novel hereRelease date: 13 September 2016
by Masande Ntshanga
A compelling debut fiction novel written by the 2015 PEN International New Voices Award winner—comes a story of loss, drug abuse and redemption through the foggy lens of a young man ridden with HIV. Set against the landscape of Cape Town, South Africa, in a period before anti-retroviral drugs became widely distributed, Lindanathi drifts through his youthful days loitering the streets, partying, huffing glue and selling cocktails of the desperately sought out anti-retroviral pharmaceutical drugs to drown the out the mourning of his younger brother.
The lead-in reads: TEN YEARS AGO, I HELPED A HANDFUL OF MEN take my little brother’s life. I wasn’t there when it happened, but I told Luthando where to find them. Earlier that year, my brother and I had made a pact to combine our initiation ceremonies.
This was back in 1993. Published by Two Dollar Radio, read more here about the novel from the author during a 2015 interview here
Release date: 31 May 2016
LADIVINE: A NOVEL
by Marie NDiaye
A tale of deception and secrets, the uncanny fictional drama by highly acclaimed author Marie NDiaye dives deep into colorism, social classes and self-discovery. Born in France to a Senegalese father and French mother, Clarisse Riviere struggles to live two separate lives. One with her husband and young daughter, the other with her mother who still bears the name of her abandoning father, Ladivine. Struck by social acceptance, Clarisse’s 25-year-old idyllic middle-class life is deemed to fall apart as her lies can no longer hold truth.
Left by her husband, she develops a new relationship with a volatile man that ends with her being brutally murdered. Now-grown, Clarisse’s daughter, who bears the name Ladivine, is left to put the puzzle together of her mother’s fallacious past. The excerpt reads: She was Malinka again the moment she got on the train, and she found it neither a pleasure nor a burden, having long since stopped noticing.
Published by Penguin Random House, read more about the novel hereRelease date: 26 April 2016
by Basma Abdel Aziz
Set in the modern day of Egypt, a dark humored portrait is unveiled depicting the country’s urban and political landscape over the last two and a half years. As her debut novel, Basma Abdel Aziz presents a look into the sinister nature of authoritarianism, manipulation and the rights of Egyptian citizens. An Egyptian psychiatrist, artist, author and researcher, Aziz is the winner of the English PEN Translation Award and dedicates much of her writing to the condemnations of Egypt’s security apparatus. A passage reads:
The weather was hot and humid, a sticky summer, the sky nearly turning to steam at the shattering ascent of the sun. The street in front of them seemed as if it had just emerged from an invisible state of war: papers strewn everywhere, broken bottles scattered on the ground, boxes of garbage plucked out of the bins, piles of burned rubber tires still spouting smoke and occasionally flames…
Published by Melville House, read more about the novel here: hereRelease date: 24 May 2016
BORN ON A TUESDAY: A NOVEL
by Elnathan John
Coined as one of the most important writers to come out of Africa in the 21st century, Elnathan John is nothing short of a thought provoking literary intellect most known on the internet for his banter of social issues loaded with sarcastic humor. Sweeping social media and his blog with his most recent thoughts to date, the controversial remarks have granted him quite the notoriety. As a two-time Caine Prize finalist, Elnathan debuts his first novel, Born on a Tuesday.
As an exploration of disaster, violence and poverty, this story unravels the physiological dichotomy of a nomad young boy, Dantala, searching to find his place in the streets of northwestern Nigeria. Taken in by a mosque along his journey, he is faced with a conflict of loyalties within the lines of drastic religious and political movements. The opening leads with a poem:
Published by Cassava Republic Press, read more about the novel hereRelease date: 3 May 2016