Algeria to Western Sahara, Bookishly

by H. Nanjala Nyabola

Inspired by the recent article on a woman who read one book from each country in the world (and blogged about it), I put together this reading list featuring one writer from each African country and territory. I can’t say anything about the quality of the books because I haven’t read most of them, and in some cases (Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Guinea-Bissau) I put books that I personally wanted to read. As far as possible, I have tried to put in the English translation of the books, but in some cases, only the Spanish, Swahili, French or Portuguese is available. (More incentive for you to learn the languages, no? ;)) The books highlighted seem to be out of print so will need some creativity to access. Go crazy book lovers!   

Author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie at book-signing

Author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie at book-signing of ‘Americanah’

  Algeria Ainsi naquit une homme Myriam Ben F Fiction  
  Angola Yaka Pepetela, Onjaki M Crime  
  Benin Une Enfant dans la guerre Florent Couao-Zotti M Literary Fiction  
  Botswana A Bewitched Crossroad Bessie Head F Literary Fiction  
  Burkina Faso Les Liens Amadou Koné M Literary Fiction  
  Burundi Princess de Rugo, Mon Histoire Esther Kamatari F Literary Fiction  
  Cameroon Chuchotte pas trop Frieda Ekotto F Literary Fiction  
  Cape Verde Lisbon Blues José Luis Tavares M Literary Fiction  
  Central African Republic  Daba’s travels from Ouadda to Bangui Makombo Bambote M Children’s Fiction  
  Chad Les Racines De Yucca Koulsy Lamko M Literary Fiction  
  Comoros La republique des imberbes Mohammed Toihiri M Literary Fiction  
  Cote d’Ivoire Aya* Marguerite Abouet F *Graphic novel  
  Democratic Republic of the Congo  Full Circle Frederick Kambemba Yamusangie  M  Literary Fiction  
  Djibouti Passage of Tears Waberi Abdourahman M Literary Fiction  
  Egypt Zeina Nawal El-Saadawi F Literary Fiction  
  Equatorial Guinea Shadows of your Black Memory Donato Ndogo M Literary Fiction  
  Eritrea Two Weeks in The Trenches Alemseged Tesfai M Anthology  
  Ethiopia Beneath the Lion’s Gaze Maaza Mengiste F Literary Fiction  
   Gabon Protocole du mariage coutumierau Gabon*  Justine Mintsa  F  *Non fiction  
  The Gambia Chaff on the Wind Ebou Dibba M Literary Fiction  
  Ghana Reflections from a Black Eyed Squint Ama-Ata Aidoo F Literary Fiction  
  Guinea Fode, La petite coxeur Boubacar Diallo M Children’s Fiction  
  Guinea-Bissau Return to the Source* Amilcar Cabral M *non-fiction  
  Kenya Dust Yvonne Owuor F Literary Fiction  
  Lesotho Singing away the hunger Mpho Matsepo Nthunya F *Non-fiction  
  Liberia Ebony Dust Bai T. Moore M Literary Fiction  
  Libya In the Country of Men Hisham Matar M Literary Fiction  
  Madagascar Elle, au Printemps Michèle Rakotoson F Literary Fiction  
          Young Adult Fiction  
  Malawi Love’s Dilemma Walije Gondwe F (Pacesetters)  
  Mali Bound to Violence Yambo Ouologuem M  


Mauritania Sia Yatabéré  Moussa Diagana   M     Literary Fiction
Mauritius Indian Tango Ananda Devi M   Literary Fiction
Morocco Les temps des erreurs Mohamed Choukri M   Literary Fiction
Mozambique The Last Flight of the Flamingo Mia Couto M   Literary Fiction
 Namibia Born of the Sun: A Namibian Novel  Joseph Diescho  M    Literary Fiction
Niger Sarraounia: Le drame de la reine magicienne  Abdoulaye Mamani M   Literary Fiction
Nigeria Americanah Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie F   Literary Fiction
Republic of the Congo Le masque de chacal Jean-Baptiste Tati-Loutard M   Literary Fiction
Rwanda Le Feu sou la soutane Benjamin Sehene M   Literary Fiction
São Tomé and Príncipe The Shepherd’s House Olinda Beja F   Literary Fiction
Senegal Scarlet Song Mariama Ba F   Literary Fiction
Seychelles Contes et Poemes Africains* Antoine Abel M   *Anthology
Sierra Leone A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Child Soldier* Ismael Beah M   *Non-Fiction
Somalia Fairytales for Lost Children Diriye Osman M   Children’s Fiction
South Africa In the Fog of the Season’s End Alex La Guma M   Literary Fiction
South Sudan There is a Country* Nyuol Lueth Tong M   *Anthology
Sudan Season of Migration to the North Tayeb Salih M   Literary Fiction
Swaziland Weeding the flowerbeds Sarah Mkhonza F   Literary Fiction
Tanzania Wasifu wa Siti Binti Saad Shaaban Robert M   Literary Fiction (Swahili)
Togo L’Exile Kodjo Adabra M   Literary Fiction
        Anthology, Short
Tunisia Le Harem en Peril et autres nouvelles Rafik Ben Salah M   stories
Uganda Any “Moses” book Barbara Kimenye F   Children’s Fiction
Zambia Talakata, The Tears of Africa Zindaba Nyirenda, F   Literary Fiction
Zimbabwe Nervous Conditions Tsitsi Dangarembga F   Literary Fiction
Somaliland Black Mamba Boy Nadifa Mohammed F   Literary Fiction
 Western Sahara La maestra que me enseño en una tabla de madera  Bahia Mahmud Awah  M   Literary Fiction (Spanish)


    Female 21


(H. Nanjala Nyabola is a Kenyan writer, political analyst and sometime-activist. She’s a traveller, a lover of books and good food. Follow her on twitter @nanjala1.)

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