Here in Ghana I met a friend who happens to share both my passion and profession. This friend, though not a Ghanaian, has read enough African-authored books to hold meaningful and lasting conversation. And we both share similar opinions on the crowding around of topics and the seeming scatological preferences of publishers, if not of African writers.
This is not what the post is about. Martin, the name of my friend, has gifted me with books I have been meaning to read by such authors as Jose Saramago and Roberto Bolano. Besides, this I purchased Kofi Akpabli's new book Tickling the Ghanaian at the launch. And got it autographed. Below are the books:
- Tickling the Ghanaian: An Encounter with Contemporary Culture by Kofi Akpabli. Kofi's penchant for humour and insight pervades his second book. This book takes a second and third look at our culture. Is it archaic as some have come to call it? Through this book Kofi seeks to point out things which have been long overlooked.
- A Life in Full and Other Stories. This is an anthology of the 2010 Caine Prize shortlist and stories from the Caine Prize Writers' Workshop held in Kenya. In all there is a total of 17 short stories, including the five shortlisted for the prize. I started my Caine Prize Shortlist reading before this book, hence I would still review the shortlist as individual stories and not as an anthology. When I come round to reading the book, I would link to the already reviewed stories and review the 12 remaining stories in the anthology. Given to me by Martin.
- On the Road by Jack Kerouac. Looks like I am one of the few readers on blogosphere who haven't been wowed by Kerouac. I haven't read any thing by him but have read a lot about him. Jack is considered alongside Allen Gingsberg as the pioneers of the beat generation. According to Wikipedia, On the Road is a story about two Catholic buddies roaming the country in search of God.
- Blindness by Jose Saramago. Jose Saramago has been recommended (or much talked about) by Kinna of Kinna Reads who considers Blindness to be among the author's top 5 books. I respect Kinna's opinion and hope that she would be right again. Given to me by Martin.
- Last Evenings on Earth by Roberto Bolano. This is a collection of short stories. I was told that this isn't the best of the Chilean author. Again Kinna has read some of his short stories, though I have not read her recommendations and/or high praise, more like she was ambivalent about the read. Given to me by Martin.
- Jazz by Toni Morrison. This would have made it three Morrisons but I gave it to a friend who requested for a book, just after Martin had given them to me. If I get it I would read them, if not I would search for another.