Crime Fiction in Africa has a new hero!

Many readers and lovers of a good whodunit believe crime fiction in Africa is synonymous with Alexander McCall Smith and his ‘No 1 Ladies Detective Agency’ series. It’s my strong belief that while Precious Ramotswe is a fascinating character, she personifies a more constrained view of African crime, one that is almost ‘too good’ and […]

The Concise Art of Teju Cole

Nigerian-born writer Teju Cole is emerging as a pop star African thinker and someone young-er, African intellectuals are scrambling to talk to. In essence, he lends cool to African literacy which has long needed a dose of youthful relevance injected into it. Brooklyn based Cole is famed, firstly for his acerbic prose and coining the […]

Africa’s greatest story

Author N.K Read writes about what inspired her new book ‘Children of Saba’, an exciting, epic novel that re-imagines Africa’s past (and future) glory. Herodotus (Greek historian c. 484–425 BC) called them the ‘wisemen occupying the Upper Nile, men of long life, whose manners and customs pertain to the Golden Age, those virtuous mortals whose […]

Children of Saba, Epic of Aphrike Book 1

THE EPIC OF APHRIKE TRILOGY BOOK 1 – LAUNCHING November 2013 – READ AN EXCERPT FROM THE OPENING CHAPTER: Though time had stood still for him, the guardian was finding it increasingly difficult to maintain his sheath and his smooth, sculptured features shifted in rhythm with the clap of thunder that boomed across the heavens […]

Africa’s 100 Best Books of the 20th Century

Done any reading lately? Need a few great book suggestions and open to Africa’s diverse authors and stories? You’ve come to the right place. Ali Mazrui’s AFRICA’S 100 BEST BOOKS OF THE 20TH CENTURY project was first suggested at the 1998 Zimbabwe International Book Fair in Harare. Mazrui’s best books list was an effort to […]

The 10 best contemporary African books – 2012

From a reinterpreted Heart of Darkness to a barstool in Congo, this is a list of Africa’s best contemporary novels in 2012, as compiled by Ellah Wakatama Allfrey, deputy editor of Granta. Enjoy. Lyrics Alley Leila Aboulela (2010) Set in mid-50s, pre-independence Sudan, Aboulela’s third novel takes us on a journey to Egypt and postwar Britain as […]

Where have the African Intellectuals gone?

“One of the truest tests of integrity is its blunt refusal to be compromised.”  ― Chinua Achebe. When I take time out to reflect and observe what exactly is capturing the hearts and minds of Africans and Africans in the Diaspora, particularly within the digital terrain of social media: facebook, twitter and blogosphere being the most […]

A brief background and history of African literature

Africa has a long and complex literary history. Indeed, to suggest that one historical account can represent all of the literatures, across time, from all of the regions of Africa is misleading. Deciding when African literature first appears, or when the tradition begins, are questions that are ultimately unanswerable, and determining which literary forms originate […]