Collection Spotlight: Contemporary African Literature

Contributed by Heather Martin,  Librarian for African and African American Studies

What is African literature? Is it literature created by Africans or about Africans? These are some of the questions students in the Duke Africa Conversations Club hope to spark in their selection of books for Duke University Libraries’ current Collection Spotlight on Contemporary African Literature.

The Africa Conversations Club encourages discourse at Duke about issues relating to the African continent and the African diaspora. Their selections (chosen in consultation with Heather Martin, African and African American Studies Librarian) highlight contemporary African fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.

Join Africa Conversations for a discussion of “African Literature and Its Place in Academia” with Dr. Tsitsi Jaji, Associate Professor of English at Duke, on Wednesday, January 31, 4:00-5:00 p.m. in Rubenstein Library 153 (Holsti-Anderson Family Assembly Room).

The Contemporary African Literature display will end in February, but books chosen for the display are available in the Duke Libraries any time.


Poetry

Beating the Graves – Tsitsi Jaji (Zimbabwe)

The January Children – Safia Elhillo (Sudan)

Madman at Kilifi – Clifton Gachagua (Kenya)

Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth – Warsan Shire (Somalia)

When the Wanderers Come Home – Patricia Jabbeh Wesley (Liberia)


Fiction

Aya: Life in Yop City – Marguerite Abouet (Cote d’Ivoire)

Africa39: New Writing from Africa South of the Sahara

And After Many Days – Jowhor Ile (Nigeria)

Binti: Home – Nnedi Okorafor (Nigeria)

The Automobile Club of Egypt – Aswany Al Alaa (Egypt)

Behold the Dreamers – Imbolo Mbue (Cameroon)

Beneath the Lion’s Gaze: A Novel – Maaza Mengiste (Ethiopia)

Black Moses – Alain Mabanckou (Congo)

Blackass – A. Igoni Barrett (Nigeria)

The Book of Memory – Petina Gappah (Zimbabwe)

Born on a Tuesday – Elnathan John (Nigeria)

Chaos of the Senses – Ahlem Mosteghanemi (Algeria)

Confessions of the Lioness – Mia Coutu (Mozambique)

Every Day Is for the Thief – Teju Cole (Nigeria)

The Fishermen – Chigozie Obioma (Nigeria)

A General Theory of Oblivion – José Eduardo Agualusa (Angola)

Graceland – Chris Abani (Nigeria)

The Hairdresser of Harare – Tendai Huchu (Zimbabwe)

The Happy Marriage: A Novel – Tahar Ben Jelloun (Morocco)

Homegoing – Yaa Gyasi (Ghana)

The Kindness of Enemies – Leila Aboulela (Sudan)

The Moor’s Account: A Novel – Laila Lalami (Morocco)

Nervous Conditions – Tsitsi Dangarembga (Zimbabwe)

Period Pain – Kopano Matlwa (South Africa)

The Queue: A Novel – Abdel Aziz (Egypt)

We Need New Names – NoViolet Bulawayo (Zimbabwe)

The Woman Next Door – Yewande Omotoso (South African)


Nonfiction

The Lights of Pointe-Noire – Alain Mabanckou (Congo-Brazzaville)

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier – Ishmael Beah (Sierra Leone)

Never Look an American in the Eye: A Memoir: Flying Turtles, Colonial Ghosts, and the Making of a Nigerian American – Okey Ndibe (Nigeria)

Nomad: From Islam to America – A Personal Journey through the Clash of Civilizations – Ayaan Hirsi Ali (Somalia)

Queer African Reader

Sometimes There Is a Void: Memoirs of an Outsider – Zakes Mda (South Africa)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *