Library Additions

Over the past two weeks I have come to possess some books, mostly through purchases, which I must share with you. But before I do so, let me take talk about the resurgence of old almost lost books on the Ghanaian market and thank some publishers (or a publisher) for doing so.

Last week I passed by the Silverbirds Lifestyle shop and I saw books that I thought were almost lost: Tsitsi Dangarembga. I jumped and jumped. I looked at those books and realised that they had one publisher: Ayebia. Nana Ayebia Clarke, the founder of Ayebia Clarke Publishing Limited, is a Ghanaian-born publisher currently resident in the UK. She was the Submissions Editor for Heinemann and Caribbean Writers Series for 12 years. Together with her husband, David, they established this publishing company in 2003 specialising in quality African and Caribbean writing. They hope to be the first stop for established and budding writers who require a publisher who understands where they come from. Their mission is to publish books that will open new spaces and bring fresh insights into African and Caribbean life, culture and literature in a way that will enlighten, stimulate and entertain.

Now the books:

The Hairdresser of Harare by Tendai Huchu: This book was sent to me, autographed, by the author. I showed it off to my friends at work who didn't understand why I should be happy. I interviewed the author here and definitely you would be reading the review of the book here. It was published by Weaver Press.

Fela, This Bitch of a Life by Carlos Moore: I purchased this book together with the next book when the author, Carlos Moore, together with the author of the next book, John Collins discussed Fela at the Nubuke Foundation. This event was organised by Kinna of Kinna Reads. Yes, and I had it autographed. This book was published by Cassava Republic.

Fela, The Kalakuta Notes by John Collins: I purchased this book when the author John Collins discussed Fela's life with Carlos Moore at the Nubuke Foundation. This was also autographed by the author.

Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust: Though Proust is not originally on my 100 TBR, as an author he is on the list of authors to be read. Yes, I have a list of authors I would purchase from if I ever come across their books. This book is over 1100 pages! and published by Penguin. I know I am not reading it now. May be next year. But who knows?

Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy: I bought this book together with Marcel Proust's book from a second-hand book dealer. The two books cost less than US$ 3. I didn't know Thomas Hardy was on my list of authors - not my fault! the list is long. But when I checked he was on it. 

Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga: This book was bought on the impulse. It is on my list of TBR so when I saw it at the Silverbirds Lifestyle Shop, I couldn't prevent myself from buying it. I had earlier seen The Other Crucifix by Benjamin Kwakye and skipped,  Cry my Beloved Country by Alan Paton and skipped, and African Love stories edited by Ama Ata Aidoo, which I also passed. However, when I got to this book, I couldn't. When I saw the sequel The Book of Not I had to pinch myself to avoid purchasing it since I have exhausted all my budgetary allocations on books. I hope Silverbirds keep these three books for me, else...


  1. I love this post Nana. Heineman, which was sometime ago the mouth piece of African Literature is dead and so I thought that since it was no more, there would be no more African literature. But thanks to Ayebia who has taken it upon herself to bring to the fore -light even when Heinemann is no more publishing new books. For the readers information, Heinemman is now only reprinting old books by known authors. In Nigeria, Farafina and Cassava republic are also on the ascendency, trying every possible means to bring to life the African Literature. The owner of Farafina was one time a banker who pushed all his money into establishing a publishing house. How many people would be willing to do this? Ayebia, God bless you for this insight. Nana, I'm happy for your purchase of Nervous Conditions. That book was almost non-existent and dead until Ayebia brought it to life again. But pls be sure to go for The Other Crucifix before...

  2. @Geosi, next week or two (I only hope it doesn't sell out) I would get The Other Crucifix together with Cry My Beloved Country and The Book of Not. I wanted to also add 'African Love Stories', though I am not a fan of love stories. I would see if my budget would allow me.

  3. Great selection of books! I'm so jealous of your bookstore. It might, as you say, not always have great selection, but it has a very different selection from my local stores which NEVER (or almost never) carry African authors. Depressing really. I have Nervous Conditions here to read as well though!

  4. Thanks Amy... (and the picture in there is my bookshelf). Our bookshops are now trying hard to always have an African authors section. And people do patronise them.

  5. Oh very cool that it's your shelves! So many pretty books :)


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