Into Africa

Africa is not one country. It is a huge continent composed of many different countries. Its people live in large cities, small towns, and, yes, dusty villages. Yet, tales of Africa convey a common passion. Whether the tale is of a clever woman running a detective agency in a traditional town or a recounting of the agonies of civil war or invasion, stories from Africa strike at the heart of the human condition.

Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles

By Richard Dowden

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In captivating prose, Dowden spins tales of cults and commerce in Senegal and traditional spirituality in Sierra Leone; analyzes the impact of oil and the Internet on Nigeria and aid on Sudan; and examines what has gone so badly wrong in Rwanda and the Congo.

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Wildflower: An Extraordinary Life and Untimely Death in Africa

By Mark Seal

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After twenty years of spectacular, unparalleled wildlife filmmaking together, Joan and Alan Root divorced and a fascinating woman found her own voice. Renowned journalist Mark Seal offers this breathtaking, culturally relevant portrait of a strong woman discovering herself and fighting for her beliefs before her mysterious and brutal murder. With a cast of characters as wild, wondrous, and unpredictable as Africa itself, Wildflower is a real-life adventure tale set in the world’s fast-disappearing wilderness. Rife with personal revelation, intrigue, corruption, and murder, readers will remember Joan Root’s extraordinary journey long after they turn the last page of this utterly compelling book.

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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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Come Sunday

By Isla Morley

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Abbe Deighton is a woman who has lost her bearings. Once a child of the African plains, she is now settled in Hawaii, married to a minister, and waging her battles in a hallway of monotony. There is the leaky roof, the chafing expectations of her husband's congregation, and the constant demands of motherhood. But in an instant, beginning with the skid of tires, Abbe's battlefield is transformed when her three-year-old daughter is killed, triggering in Abbe a seismic grief that will cut a swath through the landscape of her life and her identity.
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Say You're One of Them

By Uwem Akpan

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This singular collection of five stories takes the reader inside Nigeria, Benin, and Ethiopia, revealing in beautiful prose the harsh consequences for children of life in Africa.

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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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Wizard of the Crow

By Ngũgĩ wa Thiong ; a translation from Gĩkũyũ by the author

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"From the exiled Kenyan novelist, playwright, poet, and literary critic--a magisterial comic novel that is certain to take its place as a landmark of postcolonial African literature. In exile now for more than twenty years, Ngugl wa Thiong’o has become one of the most widely read African writers of our time, the power and scope of his work garnering him international attention and praise.

"His aim in Wizard of the Crow is, in his own words,nothing less than 'to sum up Africa of the twentieth century in the context of two thousand years of world history.' Commencing in 'our times' and set in the 'Free Republic of Aburlria,' the novel dramatizes with corrosive humor and keenness of observation a battle for control of the souls of the Aburlrian people. Among the contenders: His High Mighty Excellency; the eponymous Wizard, an avatar of folklore and wisdom; the corrupt Christian Ministry; and the nefarious Global Bank."

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An Ordinary Man: An Autobiography

By Paul Rusesabagina with Tom Zoellner

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The riveting life story of Rusesabagina--the man whose heroism inspired the film "Hotel Rwanda"--is sure to become a classic of tolerance literature. "An Ordinary Man" explores what the film could not: the inner life of the man who became one of the most prominent public faces of that terrible conflict.

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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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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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