Review no 70: We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo (Zimbabwe)

AFRICA We read We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo for my book club a while ago. My friend Emily likes to seek out books by African authors, so I suspect this was her choice (we all put suggestions into a little bag, anonymously, and then someone pulls out two!). Published in 2013, this is […]

Review no 68: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (Ghana)

AFRICA Homegoing was published in 2016 to much praise. Gyasi was born in 1989 in Ghana, but grew up mainly in the USA. However, Homegoing, her first novel, was apparently inspired by a trip back to the country of her birth in 2009. At first the novel was a little disorientating, as the story cut […]

Review no 41: José Eduardo Agualusa, A General Theory of Oblivion (Angola)

Translated by Daniel Hahn AFRICA The trouble with reading books from around the world is that there are so many war stories. Sometimes it feels as though every work of translated fiction I read is set in a war zone, past or present. Obviously I recognise the importance of hearing people’s stories and being informed […]

Review no 36: Mariama Bâ (1929-81), Une Si Longue Lettre/So Long a Letter (Senegal)

Translated from the French by Modupé Bodé-Thomas AFRICA So Long a Letter is an epistolary novel (rare in African literature) and seminal African feminist work that laments injustices in the female experience in Senegal. The book was published in French in 1979, and first appeared in English in 1981. It has been judged to be […]

Review no 29: Jide Odukoya – “Turn it Up: On Paradoxes” exhibition (Nigeria)

AFRICA till 21st June 2020 @ Horniman Museum, London The art world remains hugely Eurocentric, and even living in London it can be really tricky to find shows of work by artists and photographers from outside Europe. The wonderful, slightly eccentric Horniman Museum in south London is currently hosting a small exhibition of work by […]