Top 10 Best Books to Read in African Literature - August 2021



Here are our top ten recommendations if you are looking for the best books to read in African Literature. We have made sure our list is diverse to cater to the interests of different types of readers.

1. Things Fall Apart


Top 10 Best Books to Read in African Literature - August 2021

“A true classic of world literature . . . A masterpiece that has inspired generations of writers in Nigeria, across Africa, and around the world.”  — Barack Obama  Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read Things Fall Apart is the first of three novels in Chinua Achebe's critically acclaimed African Trilogy. It is a classic narrative about Africa's cataclysmic encounter with Europe as it establishes a colonial presence on the continent. Told through the fictional experiences of Okonkwo, a wealthy and fearless Igbo warrior of Umuofia in the late 1800s, Things Fall Apart explores one man's futile resistance to the devaluing of his Igbo traditions by British political andreligious forces and his despair as his community capitulates to the powerful new order. With more than 20 million copies sold and translated into fifty-seven languages, Things Fall Apart provides one of the most illuminating and permanent monuments to African experience. Achebe does not only capture life in a pre-colonial African village, he conveys the tragedy of the loss of that world while broadening our understanding of our contemporary realities.

  • Author: Chinua Achebe
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (September 1, 1994)
  • Genre: Literature & Fiction, Genre Fiction
  • ISBN: 978-0385474542
  • Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 7.99 inches

                 

2. Americanah


Top 10 Best Books to Read in African Literature - August 2021

From the award-winning, bestselling author of  We Should All Be Feminists and Half of a Yellow Sun —the story of two Nigerians making their way in the U.S. and the UK, raising universal questions of race, belonging, the overseas experience for the African diaspora, and the search for identity and a home. Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria, and reignite their passion—for each other and for their homeland.

  • Author: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Publisher: Anchor (March 4, 2014)
  • Genre: Literature & Fiction, Genre Fiction
  • ISBN: 978-0307455925
  • Dimensions: 5.15 x 1 x 7.95 inches

                 

3. Cry, the Beloved Country


Top 10 Best Books to Read in African Literature - August 2021

“The greatest novel to emerge out of the tragedy of South Africa, and one of the best novels of our time.” — The New Republic “A beautiful novel…its writing is so fresh, its projection of character so immediate and full, its events so compelling, and its understanding so compassionate that to read the book is to share intimately, even to the point of catharsis, in the grave human experience.” — The New York Times An Oprah Book Club selection, Cry, the Beloved Country , was an immediate worldwide bestseller when it was published in 1948. Alan Paton’s impassioned novel about a black man’s country under white man’s law is a work of searing beauty. Cry, the Beloved Country , is the deeply moving story of the Zulu pastor Stephen Kumalo and his son, Absalom, set against the background of a land and a people riven by racial injustice. Remarkable for its lyricism, unforgettable for character and incident, Cry, the Beloved Country is a classic work of love and hope, courage and endurance, born of the dignity of man.

  • Author: Alan Paton
  • Publisher: Scribner Book Company; 1st edition (November 1, 2003)
  • Genre: Christian Books & Bibles, Literature & Fiction
  • ISBN: 978-0743262170

                 

4. The Thing Around Your Neck


Top 10 Best Books to Read in African Literature - August 2021

A dazzling story collection from the award-winning, bestselling author of  Americanah and We Should All Be Feminists In these twelve riveting stories, the award-winning Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie explores the ties that bind men and women, parents and children, Africa and the United States. Searing and profound, suffused with beauty, sorrow, and longing, these stories map, with Adichie's signature emotional wisdom, the collision of two cultures and the deeply human struggle to reconcile them.

  • Author: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group; 1st edition (June 1, 2010)
  • Genre: Literature & Fiction, Genre Fiction
  • ISBN: 978-0307455918
  • Dimensions: 5.13 x 0.69 x 7.98 inches

                 

5. Half of a Yellow Sun


Top 10 Best Books to Read in African Literature - August 2021

From the award-winning, bestselling author of  Americanah  and  We Should All Be Feminists —a haunting story of love and war   Recipient of the Women’s Prize for Fiction “Winner of Winners” award With effortless grace, celebrated author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie illuminates a seminal moment in modern African history: Biafra's impassioned struggle to establish an independent republic in southeastern Nigeria during the late 1960s. We experience this tumultuous decade alongside five unforgettable characters: Ugwu, a thirteen-year-old houseboy who works for Odenigbo, a university professor full of revolutionary zeal; Olanna, the professor’s beautiful young mistress who has abandoned her life in Lagos for a dusty town and her lover’s charm; and Richard, a shy young Englishman infatuated with Olanna’s willful twin sister Kainene. Half of a Yellow Sun is a tremendously evocative novel of the promise, hope, and disappointment of the Biafran war.

  • Author: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Publisher: Anchor (September 4, 2007)
  • Genre: Literature & Fiction, Genre Fiction
  • ISBN: 978-1400095209
  • Dimensions: 5.16 x 0.87 x 7.98 inches

                 



6. R for Rain: An Interracial Romance (The Visa Series Book 3)


Top 10 Best Books to Read in African Literature - August 2021

Their world just got more uncertain. Their love just got stronger. But will it be enough? Darien I haven't told her this, but I think I love her. And I can't have her. I shouldn't. People around me die. The irony is, my job is to save the innocent, eliminate the threats seen and unseen. I made an oath. That's where my loyalty lies, to those I protect. Above all else. Even my own soul. So, I want her. I think I might love her. But I can't have her. I shouldn't. R for Rain is the third instalment in the intriguing, heartwarming, steamy interracial romance. If you like layered characters with lots of mystery, vulnerability with lots of heat and hold your breath suspense, add humour, then you'll love this romance series. Buy Mona Ombogo's R for Rain, to continue an engaging romance adventure. What Readers are saying about The Visa Series "I read both books (V for Visa and D for Darien) in two days. I'm hooked. I've laughed, cried and fallen in love together with Rain. I love that it's so relatable." "D for Darien was the bomb! I really enjoyed it. Read it in less than 24 hours." "I just read the two books in your series (V for Visa and D for Darien) and liked it a lot. I am eagerly awaiting book 3. You were very talented and funny." "I have read so many romantic and romantic suspense books but this one is special! The writing style is reminiscent of Suzanne Brockmanne’s, one of my favourite authors. Rain is Kenyan and Darien is English. The story takes place in Kenya. It’s hot and steamy but also has plenty of heart! It’s packed with suspense and angst, just the way I like my books. I literally could not put it down. When I was done I went back and re-read the first book in the series, V for Visa and enjoyed it just as much.This series is definitely going to be one of my classics that I read over and over again. Can’t wait for the next installment."

  • Author: Mona Ombogo
  • Genre: Kindle Store, Kindle eBooks, Literature & Fiction

                 

7. His Only Wife


Top 10 Best Books to Read in African Literature - August 2021

A REESE WITHERSPOON x HELLO SUNSHINE BOOK CLUB PICK A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR A Time Magazine Must-Read Book of 2020 One of BuzzFeed's "29 Books We Couldn’t Put Down This Year" A Must-Read Novel: The New York Times Book Review * BuzzFeed *  Marie Claire * Parade * Travel + Leisure * Ms. Magazine * Bustle * The Millions * Book Riot * Christian Science Monitor * HelloGiggles “A mesmerizing debut novel.” — The New York Times Book Review “A story that kept me tied to the page, told in masterful, seamless prose.” —BuzzFeed “I love this book so much I turned the pages so fast . . . It’s all about the search for independence and being true to yourself and who you really are.” —Reese Witherspoon Afi Tekple is a young seamstress in Ghana. She is smart; she is pretty; and she has been convinced by her mother to marry a man she does not know. Afi knows who he is, of course—Elikem is a wealthy businessman whose mother has chosen Afi in the hopes that she will distract him from his relationship with a woman his family claims is inappropriate. But Afi is not prepared for the shift her life takes when she is moved from her small hometown of Ho to live in Accra, Ghana’s gleaming capital, a place of wealth and sophistication where she has days of nothing to do but cook meals for a man who may or may not show up to eat them. She has agreed to this marriage in order to give her mother the financial security she desperately needs, and so she must see it through. Or maybe not? His Only Wife is a witty, smart, and moving debut novel about a brave young woman traversing the minefield of modern life with its taboos and injustices, living in a world of men who want their wives to be beautiful, to be good cooks and mothers, to be women who respect their husbands and grant them forbearance. And in Afi, Peace Medie has created a delightfully spunky and relatable heroine who just may break all the rules.

  • Author: Peace Adzo Medie
  • Publisher: Algonquin Books (September 1, 2020)
  • Genre: Literature & Fiction, Genre Fiction
  • ISBN: 978-1616209155
  • Dimensions: 5.7 x 1 x 8.6 inches

                 

8. The Fishermen: A Novel


Top 10 Best Books to Read in African Literature - August 2021

A striking debut novel about an unforgettable childhood, by a Nigerian writer the New York Times has crowned "the heir to Chinua Achebe." Told by nine-year-old Benjamin, the youngest of four brothers, The Fishermen is the Cain and Abel-esque story of a childhood in Nigeria, in the small town of Akure. When their father has to travel to a distant city for work, the brothers take advantage of his absence to skip school and go fishing. At the forbidden nearby river, they meet a madman who persuades the oldest of the boys that he is destined to be killed by one of his siblings. What happens next is an almost mythic event whose impact-both tragic and redemptive-will transcend the lives and imaginations of the book's characters and readers. Dazzling and viscerally powerful, The Fisherman is an essential novel about Africa, seen through the prism of one family's destiny.

  • Author: Chigozie Obioma
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (April 14, 2015)
  • Genre: Literature & Fiction, Genre Fiction

                 

9. Who Fears Death: Modern Fantasy Classic soon to be an HBO series with George RR. Martin as executive producer


Top 10 Best Books to Read in African Literature - August 2021

An award-winning literary author enters the world of magical realism with her World Fantasy Award-winning novel of a remarkable woman in post-apocalyptic Africa. Now optioned as a TV series for HBO, with executive producer George R.R. Martin! In a post-apocalyptic Africa, the world has changed in many ways; yet in one region genocide between tribes still bloodies the land. A woman who has survived the annihilation of her village and a terrible rape by an enemy general wanders into the desert, hoping to die. Instead, she gives birth to an angry baby girl with hair and skin the colour of sand. Gripped by the certainty that her daughter is different – special – she names her Onyesonwu, which means ‘Who fears death?’ in an ancient language. It doesn't take long for Onye to understand that she is physically and socially marked by the circumstances of her conception. She is Ewu – a child of rape who is expected to live a life of violence, a half-breed rejected by her community. But Onye is not the average Ewu. Even as a child, she manifests the beginnings of a remarkable and unique magic. As she grows, so do her abilities, and during an inadvertent visit to the spirit realm, she learns something terrifying: someone powerful is trying to kill her. Desperate to elude her would-be murderer and to understand her own nature, she embarks on a journey in which she grapples with nature, tradition, history, true love, and the spiritual mysteries of her culture, and ultimately learns why she was given the name she bears: Who Fears Death.

  • Author: Nnedi Okorafor
  • Publisher: HarperVoyager (March 22, 2018)
  • Genre: Literature & Fiction, Genre Fiction

                 

10. EIRIK: Elementals CT MC (Elemental's CT MC Book 4)


Top 10 Best Books to Read in African Literature - August 2021

EIRIK Why, why now? After centuries of walking through life convinced that it was impossible to ever love anyone again? I was content to fight for my brothers, and my club, especially at this time when we find ourselves at war. I was sure that fate had been wrong before and not made the woman I thought I loved, my mate. But now fate has turned around and thrown her right into my arms, and not just anyone, but Siena! SIENA When I thought everything was lost Eirik came to my rescue. He is a dark handsome angel, protecting me from forceeable danger. A savior that turns into an uncouthed, foul mouthed savage. I might owe him my life, but he's not getting my obedience even if he is the only one that has ever ignited my inner passion.

  • Author: Alexi Ferreira
  • Genre: Kindle Store, Kindle eBooks, Literature & Fiction