Friday, February 14, 2020

#FridayReads Authors of Africa - #BlackHistoryMonth2020

Looking for a good book to curl up with this weekend? Here are four brilliant authors from Africa to add to your bookshelf, ranging from the rising star to the well-established novelist.

NoViolet Bulawayo


NoViolet Bulawayo
by EuphoricOrca - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link


At just 38 years of age, Zimbabwean-born NoViolet Bulawayo is definitely a name to watch. In 2013 her debut novel, We Need New Names, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, making NoViolet the first Zimbabwean and first indigenous African woman to do so.


We Need New Names tells the story of ten-year-old Darling beginning with her escapades in a Zimbabwean shantytown after the destruction of her home and school by the paramilitary police, and following her to suburban America where new challenges abound.

Author website: NoVioletBulawayo.com
Facebook: NoViolet Bulawayo

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie



Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
by Slowking - Own work, GFDL 1.2, Link


Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s debut novel, Purple Hibiscus, was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2004 and was awarded the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book in 2005. Her second novel, Half of a Yellow Sun, performed even better, taking the 2007 Orange Prize for Fiction and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. Her third novel, Americanah, was selected by The New York Times as one of "The 10 Best Books of 2013". Do yourself a favour – don’t try to choose; get hold of all three of Ms Adichie’s novels and read them in one go.


Author website: Chimamanda.com
Facebook: Chimamanda Adichie
Twitter: Chimamanda Real

Sefi Atta


Sefi Atta
Image via SefiAtta.com

Nigerian author Sefi Atta has been the winner of the Wo̩lé S̩óyinká Prize for Literature and the Noma Award for Publishing in Africa. Her production company Atta Girl supports Care to Read, a program she initiated to fund charities through staged readings.

Her most notable work is Everything Good Will Come, and her latest novel is The Bead Collector.



Author website: SefiAtta.com
Facebook: Sefi Atta

Tsitsi Dangarembga

Tsitsi Dangarembga
photo by David Clarke, Ayebia, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link


Tsitsi Dangarembga is a world renowned author and filmmaker in the Zimbabwean film industry. She is one of the founders of the Institute of Creative Arts for Progress in Africa. Ms Dangarembga was the first indigenous Zimbabwean woman to publish a novel written in English – an accomplishment that was probably not surprising given that her mother, Susan Dangarembga, was the first black woman to graduate university in Zimbabwe.

Tsitsi Dangarembga’s debut novel, Nervous Conditions, was awarded the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, and more recently voted one of the top 100 books that have changed the world by the BBC. Nervous Conditions is the story of young Shona woman, Tambu, who is granted her brother’s place at a school following his unexpected death. The Book of Not continues Tambu’s story after she is awarded a scholarship to study further.


Twitter: Tsitsi Dangarembga (@efie41209591)



List compiled by Elle Carter Neal

6 comments :

  1. I love this post, Elle. We, at least where I grew up in the Midwest (U.S.), were insulated from the richness and beauty of other cultures in our midst. We didn't even learn much about the Native Americans who populated this continent long before the arrival of colonists from Europe (except what has been splashed across the silver screen by the moviemakers, who were not known to opt on the side of accuracy or truth). Then, all too often, Blacks were maligned in the media, which was frequently our primary source of information. What a loss all this has been! The one positive about growing up in a WASP (white, Anglo-Saxon, protestant) neighborhood was not being exposed to the prejudices because they almost never spoken of, and it was prior to the riots and clashes of legislated integration that changed the law but, unfortunately, did not change hearts. Or the appalling practice of apartheid by the minority white population in South Africa that didn't end until the mid 90s. Now, you can understand how thrilled I am to learn of the authors in your post; their novels are going to the top of my important-books-to-read list. Thank you for sharing this article. :-)

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    1. I'm in awe of the skill of these writers, Linda. I'm glad to share this list.

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  2. All going on my TBR list. Thanks for spreading the word.

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    1. Well worth reading, and, refreshing my memory for this article, I'm definitely keen to re-read these books. I last read Nervous Conditions in Uni!

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  3. Many Americans are insulated to the work of foreign writers, especially those of color. Thanks for the introduction to these women authors.

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  4. Elle, thanks so much for the introduction to these amazing women and their works. Like others have said, I'm going to add their books to my list of books I need to read.

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