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Fiction by African Writers

A selection of titles by authors from all over Africa.

 
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Achebe, Chinua
Arrow of God
An earlier novel from this Nigerian author, Arrow of God follows the dramatic tale of a village priest who encourages his son to learn Christianity. He later regrets this as conflict arises between old and new and the underlying struggle for power brings a tragic end.
 
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Aidoo, Ama Ata
Changes: A Love Story
Changes examines the role of a modern, professional woman in Africa who, after an incident of marital rape, leaves her marriage. The novel portrays attitudes of African society as well as provides commentary on women's problems around the globe.
 
Armah, Ayi Kwei
The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born
This novel, set in Ghana, tells the story of a hero, a railway freight clerk, and his struggle against corruption and exploitation by men of his own race.
 
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Bâ, Mariama
Scarlet Song
This is a story unfolding from the relationship of childhood sweethearts whose backgrounds starkly contrast-she is the daughter of a French diplomat and he is the son of a poor Muslim family-and their marriage becomes exposed to the dominating factors of tradition and chauvinism.
 
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Daughters of Africa: An International Anthology of Words and Writings by Women of African Descent from the Ancient Egyptian to the Present
An anthology of poems, speeches, essays and fiction from two hundred African and African-American women authors which favors contemporary authors of but includes slave narratives as well as an ancient tradition section.
 
Amadi, Elechi
The Great Ponds
Set in Nigeria, before the arrival of Europeans, two neighboring villages battle over the fishing ponds that are the sustenance of their communities. The first village will lose the ponds if its champion villager dies within the next six months. The novel follows this character in his struggle to avoid physical threats and dodge supernatural forces.
 
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Saadawi, Nawal
The Innocence of the Devil
One of Egypt's well-known feminist writers, Saadawi addresses the role of women in male-dominated Muslim society through the lives of two young women.
 
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Farah, Nuruddin
Maps
Maps is the first volume in the Somalian author's Blood in the Sun trilogy and follows the maturation of an orphaned boy who ultimately must choose between betraying his mother-figure and betraying his mother country.
 
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Isegawa, Moses
Snakepit
The story of a Ugandan just returned to his homeland with a degree from Cambridge where he hopes to make his fortune. He enters into a government position, falls in love with the woman sent to spy on him and unintentionally becomes entangled in corruption and brutality.
 
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Ben Jelloun, Tahar
The Sand Child
Implementing Arabic tales, this is the story of a Moroccan daughter raised as a boy in her father's attempt to save her from slavery. As she matures, she tries to live as a traditional Islamic woman. Ben Jelloun's next novel, The Sacred Night, concludes this daughter's story.
 
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Mahfouz, Naguib
The Dreams
A collection of dreams, ranging from a few pages to a few sentences in length, that is the author's first major work since a religious fanatic attempted to take his life ten years previous.
 
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Okri, Ben
The Famished Road
This novel is set in the ghetto, populated with good and bad spirits and other mysterious characters and told through the narrative of a spirit child. African mythology, especially that of the Yoruba, are deeply woven into this work.
 
Opening Spaces: An Anthology of Contemporary African Women's Writings
Fifteen women writers from all over the African continent are showcased in this collection of short stories with the common themes of the power of education and the solace of sisterhood.
 
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Vera, Yvonne
Without a Name and Under the Tongue
Both novels chronicle the lives of Zimbabwean women with extraordinary power and beauty struggling against an oppressive system.
 
Kateb, Yacine
Nedjma
This novel, which has also been called a novel-poem, follows a beautiful woman and the four men who are in love with her and is symbolic of the rich and bloody past of Algeria.
 

Updated: 01/25/2007