Home > Africa Reading Challenge > Africa Reading Challenge 2012

Africa Reading Challenge 2012

A friend recently made me aware of the Africa Reading Challenge for 2012. The original rules can be found listed here, but as you will find, I have twisted several of them in order to suit myself. In the first place, I will not be restricting myself to six books, as she has done. I will be reading fourteen books over the course of the year, taking my selections from North Africa, West Africa, East Africa, Central Africa, South Africa, and the Island Nations. I have endeavored, where possible, to include work from the literary heavyweights of each region, as well as more contemporary work. I have also included male and female voices, fiction and non-fiction, and an anthology of short stories. Poetry, I have neglected, because I am impatient with it. I will be posting reviews of each book here.

Now presenting the list:

North Africa:

Minaret by Leila Aboulela (Sudan, Fiction)

Season of Migration to the North by Tayeb Salih (Sudan, Fiction)

Central Africa:

King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Terrorism by Adam Hochschild (Democratic Republic of the Congo, Historical Narrative)

Broken Glass by Alain Mabanckou (Republic of the Congo, Fiction)

East Africa:

Waiting: A Novel of Uganda’s Hidden War by Goretti Kyomyuhendo (Uganda, Fiction)

One Day I Will Write About This Place by Binyavanaga Wainaina (Kenya, Memoir)

Devil on the Cross by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o (Kenya, Fiction)

South Africa:

Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee (South Africa, Fiction)

The Bang Bang Club by Greg Marinovich and Joao Silva (South Africa, Memoir)

West Africa:

Open City by Teju Cole (Nigeria, Fiction)

Arrow of God by Chinua Achebe (Nigeria, Fiction)

The Devil That Danced on the Water: A Daughter’s Quest by Aminatta Forna (Sierra Leone, Memoir)

The Island Nations:

The Last Brother by Nathacha Appanah (Mauritius, Fiction)

Africa Complete:

The Granta Book of the African Short Story, Edited by Helon Habila

Wish me luck? 🙂

  1. February 13, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Hey!!! I have six books. hehe. But fourteen? ela good luck, man. I can’t wait to read the reviews!

  2. February 13, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    Oh, my bad. Six. 😛 Let me change it in the post.

  3. February 13, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    You really do take on a challenge. 5 books were simply not going to cut it. Wish you the best with all 14.

    • February 16, 2012 at 3:40 am

      Thank you! 🙂 The funny thing is that I’ll probably pick up a few extras along the way.

  4. February 13, 2012 at 11:36 pm

    I just realized you are writing on here again, I’m so happy! 🙂 Now I have to read all the books you wrote about.

    Hope all is well!

    – Lev

    • February 16, 2012 at 3:41 am

      Yay! Hi Lev! Yes, I’m writing here again. I hope you enjoy the books that I’ve picked out.

      Hope all is well with you too! 🙂

  5. February 14, 2012 at 9:10 am

    Your list is giving me excitement! I read King Leopold’s Ghost about 7 years ago but it really stays with you. I am excited about Mabanckou’s work , I have heard so much about it – cant wait for your review.

    Obviously, we must compare notes on Wainaina. So far I am just about ready to have his children 🙂

    I wanted to pick Coetzee for the second half of the year (after reading Teju Cole’s letters), but I don’t want to restrict myself to just South Africa…

    I love that you have “Island Nations” too!

    Basically, great list. Psyched for the comments and reviews to follow!

    • February 16, 2012 at 3:44 am

      I’m glad you’re psyched, Char. Thanks for putting me onto this! 🙂

      I had the same qualms about doing only South Africa, but then I remembered that I finished reading “Nervous Conditions” in Jan., so the guilty feeling went away. 🙂

      As for reviews, I hope you will write some too!

  6. weia
    February 16, 2012 at 1:32 am

    14 books, 52 weeks, that’s roughly a book every 3 and a half weeks. Hmm. Considering my current momentum with 6 weeks already gone, impossible! BUT, your list is looking very interesting.
    I’ll take 4 from yours 🙂 (leaving room for other books that may take my fancy).
    Granta, Open city, Waiting and Disgrace.
    I will let you know how it goes.
    Thank you for the list please 🙂

    • February 16, 2012 at 3:44 am

      No problem! 🙂 Looking forward to hearing what you think of the books!

  7. June 25, 2012 at 6:50 am

    Yay!! I finally joined!!
    Doing 5 for starts – how goes your list so far?

    Got two empty slots on mine, any recommendations?

  8. July 4, 2012 at 4:48 am

    I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I’ve only read 1 and 3/4 of the books listed here so far. I went into a Young Adult (YA) fiction phase and temporarily forgot about this challenge. Now that you’ve reminded me, I am going to attempt to read these ARC books in-between my YA books. The summer’s disappearing a lot faster than I expected it to.

  1. February 21, 2012 at 1:41 am
  2. June 25, 2012 at 6:38 am

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