I have my mother to thank for these four books. I’m really excited to read them all!
- Imagine This by Sade Adeniran. Winner of the Best First Book African Region of the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize 2008. The author is Nigerian. From the publisher, Cassava Republic:
A compelling story about the human spirit and resilience against the odds. Imagine This is the journal of Lola Ogunwole which she starts at the age of nine; it charts her survival from childhood to adulthood. Born in London to Nigerian parents, Lola and her brother Adebola grow up in a temporary foster home after their mother abandons them. They are briefly reunited with their father when, in danger of losing them for good, he packs up and moves them back to Nigeria to live. For Lola, the trauma of leaving London and settling in Lagos is soon overshadowed by separation from her father and the only constant in her life, her brother Adebola. They are both sent to live with different relatives and Lola ends up with her aunt, in a small village called Idogun where her struggle for survival begins.
- I Do Not Come To You By Chance by Adaobi Trcia Nwaubani. A debut novel. Winner of the Best First Book African Region of the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize 2010. The author is Nigerian. From the publisher, Cassava Republic:
Kingsley is a young man eager to help his family and change the world. But when his once-proud family descends into poverty after his father falls ill, he is forced to turn to his mother’s infamous brother, Cash Daddy, who runs a successful empire of email scams relieving gullible Westerners of their hard earned money. Unconditional family support is the Nigerian way, but the hand Cash Daddy extends in charity has consequences. As Kingsley is drawn into Cash Daddy’s outlandish world, he soon learns that nothing in Nigeria comes for free.
- Wizard of the Crow by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o. It was shortlisted for the 2007 Commonwealth Writer’s Prize. It’s a chunkster, 700 pages long. A lot of hype surrounded this one and eager to read it and see if it is ‘the definitive African novel’. From the publisher, Farafina:
Wizard of the Crow is a bitingly satirical novel about African politics, power and paranoia. It is set in the Free Republic of Aburiria where freedom is rare but spectacle is not. One year, ‘the Ruler’, a longstanding despot, announces plans to build the highest tower in the world. His sycophants applaud while the people, led by an unemployed academic-turned-wizard, protest… Epic and ambitious, Wizard of the Crow is Ngugi wa Thiong’O’s first novel in 20 years. It aims, in his words, “to sum up Africa of the twentieth century in the context of two thousand years of world history.”
- Cloth Girl by Marilyn Heward Mills. A novel set in colonial Ghana. The writer is Swiss/Ghanaian. From the publisher, Cassava Republic:
Fourteen-year old Matilda Lamptey’s life changes forever when the suave and sophisticated Gold Coast lawyer Robert Bannerman decides to take her as his second wife. With her childhood snatched away, Matilda finds herself trapped in a jealous household, and finds herself constantly out-manoeuvred by Julie, Bannerman’s first-wife. At the same time, we follow the story of Audrey, the wife of the assistant to the Governor in the Colonial Office. Her life has also been turned around as she faces the tedium of daily life and the unbearable heat. Cloth Girl is a lucid account of life in colonial West Africa, told through the eyes of two very different women. Marilyn Heward Mills’ first novel is full of expressive prose and a compelling read.
Have you read any of these books? Your thoughts?