Africa -- fiction

Mysterious Traveler by Mal Peet and Elspeth Graham, illustrated by P.J. Lynch

Mysterious Traveler by Mal Peet and Elspeth Graham, illustrated by P.J. Lynch

No one knows the Sahara Desert like Issa. He is a famous guide along the dangerous paths the gold and salt caravans take to their far destinations. Everyone knows to ask for his help. But one day five riders with six camels come bounding through the village with a desert storm quick on their heels. They do not stop to ask for Izza's help. They gallop on, with the sixth camel carrying a basket with its tiny burden. In Mal Peet and Elspeth Graham’s The Mysterious Traveler, Issa watches them ride out of sight not knowing that the scrap of ribbon they leave behind will change his future.

A Long Walk to Water

By Linda Sue Park

Go to catalog
When the Sudanese civil war reaches his village in 1985, eleven-year-old Salva becomes separated from his family and must walk with other Dinka tribe members through southern Sudan, Ethiopia, and Kenya in search of safe haven. Based on the life of Salva Dut, who, after emigrating to America in 1996, began a project to dig water wells in Sudan.
Reserve this title

The African Queen

By C. S. Forester

Go to catalog

First published in 1935, The African Queen is the story of Charlie Allnut & Rose Sayer, a disheveled trader & an English spinster missionary, who are thrown together when World War I reaches the heart of the African jungle. Fighting time, heat, malaria, & bullets, they escape on a rickety steamboat, where they fall in love & hatch an outrageous military plan of their own. The story was immortalized in the 1951 film starring Katharine Hepburn & Humphrey Bogart.

Reserve this title

Elephants' Graveyard

By Karin McQuillan

Go to catalog
"American expatriate Jazz Jasper happily ekes out a living running safari tours and working for animal rights. When the lifeless body of wealthy American Emmet Laird, head of the Save the Elephants foundation, is found beside a watering hole, Emmet's grieving lover, Mikki, presses her friend Jazz to investigate. But as Jazz stalks her game high in the forested hills and through the streets of Nairobi, she becomes certain that the murderer she seeks is someone she knows well ... ."
Reserve this title

A Darkening Stain

By Robert Wilson

Go to catalog
When school girls begin to disappear on the West African coast, "troubleshooter" Bruce Medway tries to remain detached. Meanwhile, he reluctantly acquires a new job from former nemesis and mafia capo Franconelli. Franconelli gives Bruce forty-eight hours to find a French trader, Mariner, whom not even the mafia has been able to track.

Yet as Bruce sets out on his assignment, he is unable to remain disconnected from the mysterious school girl disappearances, and finds that girls, gold, and greed are all interconnected; corruption abounds everywhere. There are no safe havens for Bruce in this situation, and he must devise a scam that risks everything in order to stay alive.

Reserve this title

Purple Hibiscus

By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Go to catalog

"In the city of Enugu, Nigeria, fifteen-year-old Kambili and her older brother, Jaja, lead a privileged life. Their Papa is a wealthy and respected businessman; they live in a beautiful house; and they attend an exclusive missionary school. But, as Kambili reveals in her tender-voiced account, their home life is anything but harmonious. Her father, a fanatically religious man, has impossible expectations of his children and wife, and severely punishes them if they're less than perfect. Home is silent and suffocating. When Kambili's loving and outspoken Aunty Ifeoma persuades her brother that the children should visit her in Nsukka, Kambili and Jaja take their first trip away from home.

"Once inside their Aunty Ifeoma's flat, they discover a whole new world. Books cram the shelves, curry and nutmeg permeate the air, and their cousins' laughter rings throughout the house. Jaja learns to garden and work with his hands, and Kambili secretly falls in love with a young charismatic priest. When a military coup threatens to destroy the country and Kambili and Jaja return home changed by their newfound freedom, tension within the family escalates."

Reserve this title

Say You're One of Them

By Uwem Akpan

Go to catalog

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.

Reserve this title

Tsotsi: A Novel

By Athol Fugard

Go to catalog
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."
Reserve this title

Wizard of the Crow

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

Go to catalog
"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."

Reserve this title

Things Fall Apart

By Chinua Achebe

Go to catalog

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."

Reserve this title