A couple of weekends ago, I was able to attend an event which included three novelists from Africa: Brian Chikwava (Zimbabwe), Carole Enahoro (Nigeria) and Ngūgī wa Thiong’o (Kenya). They focussed on the following works, respectively: Harare North, Doing Dangerously Well, and Dreams in a Time of War.
And, so, I checked out the list of African novels in the Good Fiction Guide (Ed. Jane Rogers 2nd ed. OUP 2005) because why just add 3 novels to your TBR list when you can add another dozen (as if this subject could reasonably be limited to a mere dozen novels). Here are the books that Anthony Chennells compiled for the Good Fiction Guide and some commentary here.
Mongo Beti’s The Poor Christ of Bomba (1956; trans. 1971)
Sembene Ousmane’s God’s Bits of Wood (1960; trans. 1970)
Chinua Achebe’s Arrow of God (1964)
Ngūgī wa Thinog’o’s A Grain of Wheat (1967) and Petals of Blood (1977)
Ayi Kwei Armah’s Fragments (1970)
Doris Lessing’s This Was the Old Chief’s Country and The Sun Between Their Feet, volumes 1 and 2 of Collected African Stories (1973)
Nawal El Saadawi’s God Dies by the Nile (1974; trans. 1985)
Charles Mungoshi’s Waiting for the Rain (1975)
J.M. Coetzee’s Waiting for the Barbarians (1980)
Tsitsi Dangarembga’s Nervous Conditions (1988)
The authors’ readings and the ensuing discussion added countless titles to my TBR list, but, for now, I’m reading Carole Enahoro’s Doing Dangerously Well and wholly enjoying it.
Have you read any of these? Have you attended a literary event recently that found you madly scribbling on the TBR list?