And to imply that blacks who are essentially Africans don’t read is yet another form of discrimination against a people who have been subjugated to centuries of abuse and drudgeries. At best, one might regard such a notion as ignorant. If there is one thing that is true about Africans, it is their love for telling stories.
In the ages gone, it used to be a favourite past time to gather around the storyteller under the moonlight to hear them weave their tales, real and imaginaries. These practices, dimmed in our memories, of things that used to be but are no longer, swept away by the billowing winds of ‘civilisation.’
It was Chinua Achebe who created a huge impact on the international literary world with the publication of his first novel, Things Fall Apart. Achebe was not the first known African writer but, it was he who brought a profound change to African literature redefining the way African stories are told, no longer from the distorted views of foreigners but from the lens of the protagonists, Africans.
Since Achebe’s time, the years have given rise to more and more great storytellers from around the continent, painting Africa in diverse lights, writing about Africa from the African’s perspective, telling stories peculiar to Africa that only Africans can tell and winning accolades along the way. Woe betide the person who wants to hide his secrets in a book.
So we have gathered for you some of our favourites recent books by contemporary Africans writers, arranged in no particular order, that we think every lover of books should read. A few of the books, such as Hold by Michael Donkor and Becoming by Michelle Obama will be hitting the bookstore later in the year and we are so looking forward to them. Can’t wait, can you?
So here you go,
10 African books that you should be read in 2018:
1. Black Spell by J.Michael
Released on 22nd December 2017, Black Spell tells the story of a successful white tennis player, Daniel Pullman, who falls in love with a black lady, Leticia, he met in a small African town. But love isn’t always straightforward – Pullman is engaged to a loyal and loving fiancé.
Then there is war, blackmail and murder. Pullman, a decent man, must go back to his obligations but will his conscience allow him to abandon his lover to what is almost a certain death?
J.Michael weaves a beautiful, compelling story that is difficult to put down. The book Michael is available on Amazon and Jumia.
2. Hold by Michael Donkor
Expected to be released on July 12th, 2018, the book is set in Ghana and the UK. It is an intimate, moving, powerful coming-of-age novel. It’s a story of friendship and family, shame and forgiveness, of learning what we should cling to, and when we need to let go.
3. Becoming by Michelle Obama
We are so looking forward to Michelle Obama’s upcoming memoir, Becoming. Scheduled to hit the bookstand in November, the book chronicles the former first lady’s experiences from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent as the first lady of the United States during her husband’s presidency (2008-2016).
Obama talks how these experience came to shape her making her the person that she is today that many around the globe have come to love and admire.
4. Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha #1) by Tomi Adeyemi
The debut novel of the author with telling the story of Orisha the land where the magic disappeared and everything falls apart. Now, Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the evil monarch in the land. Will she succeed? Find out in the intriguing Afrofuturistic book by the young authour.
5. Wrestling with the Devil: A Prison Memoir by Ngigi wa Thiong’o
Released on 5th April 2018, the book is a memoir of Ngugi wa Thiong’o life in prison. Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s powerful prison memoir begins half an hour before his release on 12 December 1978.
A year earlier, he recalls, armed police arrived at his home and took him to Kenya’s Kamiti Maximum Security Prison. There, Ngugi lives in a block alongside other political prisoners, but he refuses to give in to the humiliation. He decides to write a novel in secret, on toilet paper – it is a book that will become his classic, Devil on the Cross.
6. If Only by Jay Micheal
This captivating, gripping story is the debut novel of critically acclaimed author, J.Michael. Infidelity, greed, power tussle, trust, love and loyalty are themes which are all explored in the novel.
If Only tells the story of Joe, a successful married young banker who cheated on his wife and became entangled in a web of lies, fraud, betrayal and murder. Joe must toe the line of his persecutors to save his family.
The novel is guaranteed to make one pause and to reflect on your own actual relationships and on things one takes for granted such as our freedom, and the love, trust and loyalty of our partners, friends and people we work with. If Only, hopefully, will help us to appreciate them and encourage us to treat them with love and consideration.
7. Stay with Me by Ayobami Adebayo
Released in July 2017, Stay with Me is an electrifying novel of enormous emotional power dealing with the family and the pressure to keep the lineage alive.
When the home is barren of cries of babies, what are you prepared to sacrifice to keep the family name alive? Is the price Yejide paid to get pregnant and keep her man worth the sacrifice? Find out in this compelling story by one of our favourite authours.
8. Disowned by Nina Iphechukwude Anyianuku
Released in March 2018, Disowned is a collection of inflammably emotional stories bordering on sexual abuse and harassment.
With true-life experiences forming the bedrock of the stories, Disowned tells us vividly that that sexual harassment and abuse of young girls and women are very rife in our society including at schools, offices, homes, markets and various joints.
The victims of Nina’s tales say this all. The experiences she projects in the story is so vivid.
9. Akata Warrior by Nnedi Okorafor
Released in 2017, Nnedi Okorafor, winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards, merges today’s Nigeria with a unique world she creates. Akata Warrior, the second book on the Akata trilogy blends mythology, fantasy, history and magic into a compelling tale that will keep readers spellbound.
After American-born Nigerian girl, Sunny, was inducted into the secret Leopard Society, she began to develop her magical powers. Sunny learned that she had been chosen to lead a dangerous mission to avert an apocalypse, brought about by the terrifying masquerade, Ekwensu. Now, stronger, feistier, and a bit older, Sunny is studying with her mentor Sugar Cream and struggling to unlock the secrets in her strange Nsibidi book.
10. What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky by Lesley Nneka Arimah
Released in 2017, the book is a dazzlingly collection of stories that explore the ties that bind parents and children, husbands and wives, lovers and friends to one another and to the places they call home.