Regular book columns
African Library: Congo Inc: Bismarck's testament by In Koli Jean BofaneBooks and writers 2018-10-25
"With considerable simplification, but highly persuasively in its sweepingly confident claims, Bofane’s account of the world’s continuously violent history from the late 19th until well into the 21st century places the Congo centrally at its heart of darkness, then and now."
African Library: Small country by Gaël FayeBooks and writers 2018-08-30
"Nevertheless, the fact that certain authors manage, like Gaël Faye does with Small country, to create chronicles that do not seem to desecrate, cheapen or sensationalise the devastating dimensions of those events, remains admirable proof of the nuanced art and deep empathy of which some writers are capable."
African Library: The water house by Antȏnio OlintoBooks and writers 2018-04-26
"While the Afro-Brazilian connection through transportation of enslaved West Africans to Bahía and other ports and parts of the 'New World' is well known, this novel does the unusual thing of depicting the return of one such (former) slave to the Yoruba region of her family origins."
African Library: And crocodiles are hungry at night by Jack MapanjeBooks and writers 2017-08-25
"This important narrative, like other well-known, earlier examples of African prison memoirs, many of them by famous writers, is a record of courage, friendship and enterprise in loyal league against the incarcerating, isolating and obliterating forces of tyranny."
African Library: Who will catch us as we fall by Iman VerjeeBooks and writers 2017-06-28
"The Indian community of Kenya comes into strong focus in this recent novel, part family saga, part social analysis and part romance, set mainly in Nairobi and combining idealistic hope with some strongly satirical exposures of the city’s and the society’s ugly underbelly."
African Library: Our Lady of the Nile by Scholastique MukasongaBooks and writers 2017-04-25
"Brief as it is, and with some of the naïveties of a first novel, Mukasonga’s narrative packs a powerful punch without exploiting the Rwandan tragedy for merely melodramatic effects."
African Library: Chronicle of a last summer – a novel of Egypt by Yasmine El RashidiBooks and writers 2017-03-02
"Sometimes seen as primarily a family saga or a portrait of the teeming city of Cairo, this debut novel’s wider resonance is indicated in the subtitle; it is a highly sophisticated reading of the pulse of urban Egypt over a stretch of the 30 years between 1984 and 2014."
African Library: Keeper of the Kumm by Sylvia VollenhovenBooks and writers 2016-12-14
"Told with great candour and in her inimitable, forthright style, Vollenhoven’s is one of the most important South African autobiographies to have appeared."
African Library: The Oldest Orphan by Tierno MonénemboBooks and writers 2016-08-30
"My name is Faustin, Faustin Nsenghimana. I’m fifteen years old. I’m in a cell in Kigali central prison. I’m waiting to be executed."
African Library: The Train of Salt and Sugar by Licínio de AzevedoBooks and writers 2016-05-05
"This fine and moving text by an author originally from elsewhere is a rich contribution to the African library ..."
African Library: Lagoon by Nnedi OkoraforBooks and writers 2016-03-02
"Lagos is simultaneously the topic and setting of this text, and was also the title the author originally gave this fascinating modern fantasy novel."
African Library: Luuanda – Short Stories of Angola by Josè Luandino VieiraBooks and writers 2015-12-15
"I strongly recommend that all readers encounter for themselves the charming, humane, by turns hilarious and profound tales contained in this collection ..."
African Library: Wife of the Gods by Kwei QuarteyBooks and writers 2015-10-28
"This fine example of the detective genre is strongly recommended to readers – not only for its clever plot, but also for its richer insights."
African Library: Return to Dar al-Basha by Hassan NasrEnglish 2015-07-07
"Who will restore my beautiful dreams to me? Who will restore Shama to me? Who will restore my childhood?"