I didn’t do badly this first time at Aké; I come home with 27 books!
Books I Bought:
- The Birth of Illus by Jumoke Verissimo. This is Jumoke’s second collection of poetry. I’m a fan of her work.
- Bound to Secrecy by Vamba Sherif. A detective novel set in Liberia. A new-to-me writer.
- Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor. The first of Okorafor’s books that I own. It’s been a long time coming.
- Minaret by Leila Aboulela. She has a new book, The Kindness of Enemies, out. I’m trying to catch up.
- Blackass by A. Igoni Barrett. I”m behind on my reviews but I loved Igoni’s Love is Power or Something Like That. This is his newest book.
- A Killing in the Sun by Dilman Dila. Speculative fiction. I first came across his work in Jalada’s Afrofutures issue.
(In a special category) The Etisalat Prize Longlisted Books
Etisalat Prize-longlisted books were sold in a frenzied manner at Aké. At some point after the last session of the day and before dinner, Lola announces that the Etisalat books are on sale at ₦1000 each (roughly $5) and folks would stampede for the books. Most wanted The Fisherman but quite a number of us desperately needed to get our hands on Tram 83. It was such drama; the arrival of Tram 83 was delayed by a day.
- I formed all sorts of alliances to secure three copies of Tram 83 by Fiston Mwanza Mujilla. ( I bought two and thanks to Etisalat’s Opeyemi Lawal for gifting me one copy). I also bought:
- The Fisherman by Chigozie Obioma
- The Reactive by Masande Ntshanga
- Shadow Shelf by Paula Marais
I chose by reputation and blurb. I hope three books in my selection end up on the Etisalat Prize shortlist because I plan on shadow judging the shortlist. (Note to self: You can’t trust this hope).
Books Bought for me by Frankie Edozien and Emmanuel Iduma (Thanks guys!):
- Paradise by Abdulrazak Gurnah. Gurnah has been on my reading list for the longest. Finally, I can begin!
- Beneath the Lion’s Gaze by Maaza Mengiste
- Far from My Father by Veronique Tadjo. Yay! Tadjo’s books have a home here.
- Butterfly Fish by Irenosen Okojie. Her Book Chat session at Aké intrigued.
Given by writers:
- Clinical Blues by Dami Ajayi. A collection of poetry. I wasn’t able to attend Dami’s poetry reading in Accra.
- Maid In SA: 30 Ways to Leave your Madam by Zukiswa Wanner. Non-fiction from the wonderful and prolific Zuki.
- The Wonderful Life of Senator Boniface and other Sorry Tales by Ayo Sogunro. Since I like to judge books by their titles, the placement of “Sorry” in the title is superb; this will be a good read!
- Headscarves and Hymens by Mona Eltahawy. Non-fiction. Subtitle: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution. Mona was on fiyah at Aké.
Books given by publishers:
- Taty went West by Nikhil Singh. A Kwani? Trust publication. The story was longlisted for the the 2013 Kwani? Manuscript Project.
The rest are published by Parresia:
- Season of Crimson and The Whispering Trees by Abubakar Adam Ibrahim. The Whispering Tree (short stories) was longlisted for the inaugural Etisalat Prize. Abubakar is a Caine Prize-shortlisted writer.
- The Domestication of Munachi by Ifesinachi O, Okpagu
- Oil on Water by Helon Habila.
- Indigo by Molara Wood. My current short-story-collection-read.
What do you think of my haul? Any on here that you’ve read or are thinking of reading?
(More Aké stuff coming soon)