Library Additions

In preparing for next year's Africa Reading Challenge, I have purchased some books that would help me achieve this. Note that these books were purchased based solely on availability. Consequently, I do not know what I am getting into.

  1. Every Man is a Race by Mia Couto (Mozambique, Lusophone Africa): Have heard the name of the author from Kinna.
  2. Tail of the Blue Bird by Nii Ayikwei Parkes (Ghana, Anglophone Africa): purchase of this book was inspired by Kinna of Kinna Reads. Strictly this doesn't qualify for the African Challenge as I have read more authors from Ghana.
  3. The Chattering Wagtails of Mikuyu Prison by Jack Mapajne (Malawi, Anglophone Africa): This is a poetry collection.
  4. Voices Made Night by Mia Couto (Mozambique, Lusophone Africa)
  5. Distant View of a Minaret by Alifa Rifaat (Egypt, Francophone Africa)
  6. Dew in the Morning by Shimmer Chinodya (Zimbabwe, Anglophone Africa): Again strictly this would not have qualified for the African Challenge. However, I have only read and reviewed one Zimbabwean author, Tendai Huchu, though I have Tsitsi's books Nervous Condition and The Book of Not on my shelf.
  7. The Shadow of Imana by Veronique Tadjo (Cote d'Ivoire, Francophone Africa)
  8. Opening Spaces: Contemporary African Women's Writing, edited by Yvonne Vera (Various Countries): As a collection of short stories, I believe this would help me sample enough writings from different parts of the continent. Besides, it would broaden my horizon on women writing.
  9. Neighbours: The Story of a Murder by Lilia Momple (Mozambique, Lusophone Africa)
  10. The Return of the Water Spirit by Pepetela (Angola, Lusophone Africa)
  11. A Woman Alone by Bessie Head (Zimbabwe, Anglophone Africa). This is an autobiographical tale of one of Africa's talented writers who tragically died. Her novel A Question of Power was what I was looking for. 
I look forward to an interesting fun-filled reading in 2011. Along with these readings would be books on my Top 100 (African and non-African books) list. I would strive to read more of these books, availability permitting.


  1. Wow what a great list of books! I'm jealous they are all available in your bookstores, but I suppose it makes sense :) I long for the day when they are available in MY bookstore too!! I will be checking online for some of these though based on your reviews :)

  2. @Amy lol. Definitely you would have my reviews. I hope they would become available over your end soon. However, since most of these are classics, and only reprints are available, I wonder if Amazon and the other booksites have copies to sell. I also find it difficult getting access to the Western Classics (the Great Gatsby, Jane Austen novels etc).

  3. Hey bro! I see you reading A Man of the People...Great additions to yr library. My only worry is that these are the only kinds of Arican writers available now.

  4. @Geosi, I hope to finish it my today. Yes. The contemporary ones are difficult to find perhaps because they are not published by the big publishing houses like Heinemann.

  5. great selection only read two the parkes and momple ,I ve a different Mia couto on my tbr pile sleepwalking land ,wonderful selection I ve just got voices of america by E C Osondu he won caine prize last year ,all the best stu

  6. @Winstonsdad, thanks. I was looking for that Mia Couto but couldn't get it. I have not read anything from Osondu except one Short Story.


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