Into Africa

Mrs. Pollifax and the Lion Killer

By Dorothy Gilman

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In her new adventure, part-time C.I.A. agent Mrs. Pollifax accompanies her young friend Kadi Hopkirk to the African country of Ubangiba, where Kadi's childhood friend, Sammat, is soon to be crowned king. This impromptu journey is a response to an S.O.S. from Sammat to Kadi; and Mrs. P., reluctant to allow the girl to venture alone into what she fears may be grave danger, crashes the party. Sunny little Ubangiba is no great shakes as nations go. Under Sammat's selfless leadership it is recovering from the devastation wrought by two greedy presidents-for-life who preceded him in office. But Sammat has dangerous enemies. Everywhere rumors are springing up that he is a sorcerer and that his evil power is responsible for a rash of shocking murders in which the victims appear to have been clawed to death by a lion. These crimes are especially terrifying because there are no lions in Ubangiba."
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Out of Africa

By Isak Dinesen

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"In this book, the author of Seven Gothic Tales gives a true account of her life on her plantation in Kenya. She tells with classic simplicity of the ways of the country and the natives: of the beauty of the Ngong Hills and coffee trees in blossom: of her guests, from the Prince of Wales to Knudsen, the old charcoal burner, who visited her: of primitive festivals: of big game that were her near neighbors--lions, rhinos, elephants, zebras, buffaloes--and of Lulu, the little gazelle who came to live with her, unbelievably ladylike and beautiful."
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The Calling of Katie Makanya: A Memoir of South Africa

By Margaret McCord

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The Calling of Katie Makanya is an award-winning look at the inspiring life of an exceptional woman. One of six children, Katie grew up watching British Redcoats drilling and hearing stories of the Zulu king Cetshwayo's fierce attempts to drive the white men into the sea. While still quite young, she showed a natural talent for the rhythm and melody of the languages around her, "all so similar yet each as different as the notes of a song." Katie became fluent in English, Dutch, Xhosa, and Sotho. Before she was twenty, her youthful inquisitiveness and talent took her, and her sister Charlotte, to England as members of the Jubilee Singers. Yet, despite promises of wealth and fame as a performer, the already determined young woman vowed to return home, to marry, and to raise a family.

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The Hotel Alleluia

By Lucinda Roy

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"...the story of two half-sisters who are separated in childhood and raised continents apart. Joan, the white sister, grows up in North Carolina, while Ursuline, the African sister, is adopted by nuns in West Africa. Joan's quest to find Ursuline following their mother's death sets off a whirlwind of events in Africa as the sisters join forces with Gordon Delacroix, Joan's former lover, and Jeremy Scott, a troubled English writer. The days they spend together in the violence and bloodshed of a disintegrating nation change all four of them forever. Eventually Joan and Ursuline escape to America, where they are forced to reevaluate what is meant by love, faith, and racial identity."
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The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency

By Alexander McCall Smith

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This first novel in Alexander McCall Smith's widely acclaimed The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series tells the story of the delightfully cunning and enormously engaging Precious Ramotswe, who is drawn to her profession to help people with problems in their lives. Immediately upon setting up shop in a small storefront in Gaborone, she is hired to track down a missing husband, uncover a con man, and follow a wayward daughter. But the case that tugs at her heart, and lands her in danger, is a missing eleven-year-old boy, who may have been snatched by witchdoctors.

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The Optimists

By Andrew Miller

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Clem Glass was a successful photojournalist, firm in the belief that photographs could capture truth and beauty. Until he went to Africa and witnessed the aftermath of a genocidal massacre.
Clem returns to London with his faith in human nature shattered and his life derailed. Nothing--work, love, sex--can rouse his interest and no other outlook can restore his faith. The one person Clem is able to connect with is his sister, who has made her own sudden retreat from reality into the shadows of mental illness, and he finds some peace nursing her back to health in rural Somerset. Then news arrives that offers him the chance to confront the source of his nightmares.
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The Road to Home

By Vanessa Del Fabbro

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South African journalist Monica Brunetti had it all -- promising career, loving family, marriage-minded boyfriend. Then, a life-changing encounter with evil landed her in a hospital bed next to a gregarious, charismatic Ella Nkhoma, whose wit and caring challenged Monica's worldview. Their remarkable friendship would lead Monica far from the gated white suburbs, and toward a parting that left both women transformed . . . and Monica the mother of two sons.

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The Various Flavors of Coffee

By Anthony Capella

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When Robert Wallis, an impoverished poet in turn-of-the-century London, accepts a commission from eccentric coffee merchant Samuel Pinker to categorize the elusive tastes of coffee, little does he know his assignment will completely alter his life.

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Things Fall Apart

By Chinua Achebe

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The author was born in Nigeria in 1930. He was raised in the large village of Ogidi, one of the first centers of Anglican missionary work in Eastern Nigeria, and is a graduate of University College, Ibadan. Cited in the London Sunday Times as one of the "1,000 Makers of the Twentieth Century" for defining "a modern African literature that was truly African" and thereby making "a major contribution to world literature."

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Tsotsi: A Novel

By Athol Fugard

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Set amid the sprawling Johannesburg township of Soweto, where survival is the primary objective, Tsotsi traces six days in the life of a ruthless young gang leader. When we meet Tsotsi, he is a man without a name (tsotsi is Afrikaans for "hoodlum") who has repressed his past and now exists only to stage and execute vicious crimes. When he inadvertently kidnaps a baby, Tsotsi is confronted with memories of his own painful childhood, and this angry young man begins to rediscover his own humanity, dignity, and capacity to love. A novel from the playwright who authored, "Master Harold and the Boys."
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