Literature

5 Books by African Writers You Need To Read This Summer

Add these books to your summer reading list.

It's summer now, the days are finally longer and its warm enough to enjoy some reading outside. Here is a list of books by African writers that have recently come out this May and June, just in time to be added to your summer reading list.

Since the novel often dominates discussions about African literature, we've added some poetry, nonfiction, and short stories for those looking to branch out into different genres.

Take a look at the five books by African writers you need to read this summer below.


1. House of Stone by Novuyo Rosa Tshuma

Book cover via Atlantic Books

You need an epic story if you're Zimbabwean and your novel is called House of Stone. Novuyo Tshuma gives just that in her new book that spans 50 years, shifting how we read, invent, and rediscover national histories. The book follows Zamani, a lodger in the Mlambo's house, who helps the Mlambo's search for their missing son Bukhosi and in the process ends up inhabiting the Mlambo's home and their family history.

The book comes out in the UK today, June 7, and in the U.S. in January 2019. You can order your copy here.

2. These Bones Will Rise Again by Panashe Chigumadzi

Book cover via Indigo Press.

This is the summer for Zimbabwean literature. Panashe Chigumadzi is known for her debut novel Sweet Medicine (Blackbird Books, 2015) and her nonfiction essays for Chimurenga, For Harriet, and the Washington Post. Next week, she will publish her first book of nonfiction that reflects on Zimbabwe's recent "couplite" by intersecting national history with family history.

The book is out June 14. You can preorder it here.

3. Lagos Noir edited by Chris Abani

Book cover via Akashic books.

Many stories have been written about the continent's largest megacity Lagos, but let's be honest—you can never have enough stories about Lagos. Hot off the press this week, the anthology is edited by acclaimed poet and novelist Chris Abani and features 13 stories by writers including E.C. Osondu, Nnedi Okorafor, Jude Dibia, Chika Unigwe, A. Igoni Barrett, Sarah Ladipo Manyika, and Leye Adenle.

Get a copy here.

4. Milk Fever by Megan Ross

Book cover via UHlanga Press.

Get some poetry into your summer reading and check out South African writer Megan Ross' debut collection Milk Fever. Ross' collection came out last month and was published by the small Cape Town press Uhlanga.

The description of the book reads: "Hallucinatory, image-wet, and navigating the eternal tides of spirit and body, Milk Fever is a chimeric dreamscape in which a woman reconfigures, remembers and rebirths herself."

Get your copy here.

5. Sunny and the Mysteries of Osisi by Nnedi Okorafor

Book cover via Cassava Republic.

We could all use a little magic this summer, and there is no better place to get it than Nnedi Okorafor's sequel to What Sunny Saw in Flames, a story about a girl navigating her magical powers with her friends Olu, Chichi, and Sasha. On May 28, Okorafor added to the series with her new book Sunny and the Mysteries of Osisi. What is better than taking a literal approach to your summer reading and joining Sunny on her adventures?

Get your copy here.

popular

Brittle Paper Announces its Shortlist for This Year's Awards

Keletso Mopai, Panashe Chigumadzi, Maaza Mengiste and Ope Adedeji are among the 25 writers shortlisted in the five categories of the Brittle Paper Awards.

The shortlist for the prestigious Brittle Paper Awards were announced just yesterday. The awards, which were established back in 2017, aim to recognize the "finest original pieces of writing by Africans published online." This year, 25 pieces have been shortlisted in the five categories of Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction, Essays and Think Pieces, Poetry and Anniversary. South African writers Panashe Chigumadzi and Keletso Mopai, Nigerian writers Ope Adedeji and Frances Ogamba as well as Kenyan writers Carey Baraka and Tee Ngugi appear on the shortlist. For the very first time, the shortlist was announced via video by industry heavyweights including Ellah Wakatama Allfrey, the Chair of the Caine Prize, Romeo Origun, Sisonke Msimang, Ato Quayson and Ladipo Manyika.

Keep reading... Show less
popular
Beest/Getty Images

Koleka Putuma's New Poem Speaks to South Africa's Femicide Crisis

'This country buries us before we are born. Calls us by our obituaries before it calls us by our names,' writes Putuma.

South Africa has a long history of femicide and gender-based violence. However, over the past few months, this seeming war against the country's women has surged with numerous young women being abducted, raped and subsequently found dead—if found at all. Last month, South African women marched to both the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) in Sandton and the Parliament buildings in Cape Town in protest of the rising violence against women and children. Against that backdrop, award-winning South African poet and author of Collective Amnesia, Koleka Putuma, has recently penned an unsettling poem entitled "Every Three Hours" which details the nightmare that women in the country are faced with on a daily basis.

Keep reading... Show less
News Brief
Album Cover Art.

Listen to Stormzy's New Album 'Heavy is the Head'

The British-Ghanaian grime star has dropped his much-anticipated sophomore album featuring YEBBA, H.E.R., Burna Boy, Ed Sheeran, Tiana Major9 and Headie One.

British-Ghanaian rapper Stormzy has finally dropped his much-anticipated sophomore album Heavy is the Head. The album comes two years after he released his debut album Gang Signs & Prayer.

The 16-track project features the likes of American singer-songwriter YEBBA, H.E.R., Burna Boy, British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, Tiana Major9 and Headie One.

Keep reading... Show less
popular
Still from YouTube.

Watch Zozibini Tunzi's Interview on 'Sway In The Morning'

The newly-crowned Miss Universe says that "if we start instilling leadership in young girls, then they grow up to be the leaders we need in the future."

It's been a few days since Miss South Africa Zozibini Tunzi was crowned this year's Miss Universe. While South Africans and the world are still reeling from the fact that a dark-skinned woman wearing her natural hair (in a fade, mind you) was crowned Miss Universe, Tunzi has already hit the ground running with her international press tour.

Currently in New York City, she stopped by for an interview on Sway in the Morning.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.

popular.