African literature recommendations

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African literature recommendations

Postby Mark T » Sat Jun 01, 2013 11:58 pm

Does anyone have any good African literature to recommend? I just finished Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart and thought I would like to try some more literature, primarily novels, by African writers.
I read this novel having read an obituary of Achebe in the Guardian, it's well worth finding if you're at all interested. Our local library had a copy.
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Re: African literature recommendations

Postby flashman » Sun Jun 02, 2013 3:55 am

Heinemann's African Writer Series is worth exploring. Long list of good titles:
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_Writers_Series

One of my favorite African novels is Season of Migration to the North by Tayeb Salih.
http://www.nybooks.com/books/imprints/c ... the-north/

And this: http://books.google.com/books/about/Sha ... rxJD-Tg-YC

And then there's the ancient West African epic tale of Sunjata:
http://books.google.com/books/about/Sun ... FSW3GKKZcC
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Re: African literature recommendations

Postby Mark T » Sun Jun 02, 2013 5:08 am

Thanks Flashman - that African writers series looks like just the ticket. I'll see if our library has some of them.
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Re: African literature recommendations

Postby kalcidis » Sun Jun 02, 2013 11:10 am

Haven't read too many African authors but I try to read a book from every Nobel prize winner and last year I read the play Death and the King's Horseman by Wole Soyinka (he won the literature price in 1986). It was a very nice read albeit I wasn't very familiar with the style of writing so it took some effort to get into. But it was well worth investing the time in it.
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Re: African literature recommendations

Postby Mark T » Mon Jun 03, 2013 3:18 pm

That's a great idea Kalcidis. I tend to read books when I've read good reviews and articles which often happen when they author has won a major prize or has been short listed. Never thought to read the Nobel prize winners, though I probably have read some of them.
I'll look it up.
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Re: African literature recommendations

Postby kalcidis » Mon Jun 03, 2013 5:49 pm

Yeah it all started eight or so years ago. Wanted to read something but didn't have any inspiration in what authors to check for so I just thought I'd start reading some of the classics and I figured that it would be a nice way to get to know some of the great authors out there. Not that I've read a lot but so far I've managed to read books by:

Orhan Pamuk
Imre Kertész
Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul
Wole Soyinka
William Golding
Gabriel García Márquez
Odysseus Elytis
Harry Martinson
Pablo Neruda
Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn
Yasunari Kawabata
Jean-Paul Sartre
Giorgos Seferis
Albert Camus
Ernest Hemingway
Pär Lagerkvist
William Faulkner
Knut Pedersen Hamsun
Carl Gustaf Verner von Heidenstam
Selma Lagerlöf
Rudyard Kipling

Some I loved (in bold -- and they halted my pursuit of completing the list since I got stuck on them an read several books by many of them) others left me cold (VS. Naipaul .
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Re: African literature recommendations

Postby arty » Mon Jun 03, 2013 7:38 pm

Ben Okri's "The Famished Road", with a plot that is a strange mix of the real world and the spirit world, is the best African novel I've read for a while.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Famished_Road
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Re: African literature recommendations

Postby Mark T » Tue Jun 04, 2013 1:15 am

Wow, my local library which encompasses a number of branches turns out to have very little African literature at all! I'm surprised. I am going to have to search a bit as I can't afford to buy right now and would prefer to borrow anyway.
Thanks for all the tips.
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Re: African literature recommendations

Postby Anbessa » Tue Jun 04, 2013 7:38 am

Don't know if/how they've been translated in english, but french speaking writers Amadou Hampate Ba (Mali) and Amadou Kourouma (Ivory Coast) wrote some fabulous novels. Really worth checking out.
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